Teenage athlete from Kolkata slum may miss International Youth Karate Championship in Thailand

    By Zaidul Haque, TwoCircles.net,

    Kolkata: Poverty can prove a real hurdle for the 17 year old Ayesha Noor of Kolkata, who may not be able to participate in `Thai Pitchai International Youth Karate Championship 2013’ in Thailand despite getting qualified.

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    Young Ayesha hoped to win the gold medal at the International Youth Karate Championship that is beginning from 7 October, but her family has so far not been able to arrange for the huge amount of money required for the eight days long event, including air fare, lodging and other expenses.

    Karate champion Ayesha Noor shows her medals.

    Ayesha has earlier won two Gold medals in International Karate championships. In 2011 she won the Gold Medal in 15th International Karate Championship (young Group) at Mumbai, where athletes from 16 Countries had participated. She has twice been the national champion in 2011 and 2012.

    Ayesha’s real support and guide has been her coach MA Ali, who has himself been `10th Degree Black-belt’ (1985), `Sixth Level Gold Belt Thailand’ and World Karate Champion in 1988. Her coach MA Ali tells TCN that the martial art karate now runs in her veins and is always on her mind.

    Karate green belt award of Ayesha

    The story of Ayesha Noor has really been inspiring so far. She lives with her family of total 6 members in a single 8X8 feet room in a Kolkata Khula bari (slum). She lost her father four years ago. He father Noor Mohammad was a truck driver. Her elder brother Tanveer works as salesman at a roadside hawker’s shoes store and earns about Rs 125 daily.

    Ayesha suffers from eplipesy and is on regular medication, but was drawn into martial art by her another brother Mohammad Faruque since childhood. Faruque, who is also studying in B Com honors in Kolkata, has won gold twice for India in the World Karate Championship in Thailand in 2011 and 2012. He was also awarded 2010 Excellent Award by The Telegraph.

    20th National Open Karate Championship certificate

    However, with only one brother Tanvir working, the family finds it difficult to meet both ends. Ayesha is preparing for the Secondary examinations and her elder sister is in class 12. Her mother mother Shakila Beghum is now forced to work as maid-servant in at least three houses in their locality.

    Shakila Begum told the TCN that with the guidance of her Karate Coach MA Ali Ayehsa is now dreaming of winning Gold medal in Thailand, but unfortunately they have no money to buy expensive air tickets and to bear other expenses.

    Ayesha Noor with coach M.A. Ali and mother Shakila Begum.

    6 athletes have qualified to participate in the 2013 World Youth Karate Championship in Thailand ‘Picha youth International,’ under the guidance of India Karate Association. Besides Ayesha Noor from Kolkata, Abdur Rauf from Kerala is also part of the six members team.

    President of India Karate Association M A Ali and Caretaker Sharma Sharda will lead the team of India. MA Ali, who is also the President of India Karate Association, said that other five participants are financially sound, but we are trying to manage some fund to support Ayesha as now there is little time left. He informed that the team is supposed to leave on October 5.

    Still Ayesha is unfazed. Raring to go she tells TCN in a soft voice, “If we don’t have money sell my two gold medals to arrange for the expenses. I am also ready to sell my beloved goat. But please arrange me about one lakh rupees for the tour.”

    Few days back, when The Telegraph had reported Ayesha’s story, it had quoted Ali as saying that the sports’ department will bear the air fare, but we still need to arrange for lodging and other expenses. Ali, however, clarified that they had assurances and hope of getting some support, but with only few days left, they have so far got no financial support.

    Medals of Ayesha

    Her coach MA Ali said that he took the entire team to the West Bengal’s Secretariat at the Writers, but besides congratulations and good wishes she has so far not got any help. He also informed TCN that when Madan Mitra, current Minister for Sports and transport in West Bengal, visited the field, they approached him too. Although Mitra had assured some donations from individuals, but so far she has got no financial support.

    Both Ali and Ayesha’s mother Shakila Beghum expressed displeasure that no social or Muslim organisations came forward for help.The family has still not lost hope and are praying that they are able to arrange some money in time.

    TCN appeals to its readers to contribute towards making Ayesha’s dream a reality.

    To help Ayesha please contact M A Ali, email: alikar[email protected] (Mobile No: +919339738599, +919836134506)

    Bank Account Information:

    Savings Account No: 0088010250894
    United Bank of India
    Entallly Branch
    156 A J C Bose Road, Kolkata-700014.
    IFSC Code: UTBI0ENT131