Winner of National Master Athletic Championship, 72-year-old Jayaprakash Kerketta of Manoharpur runs 20 kilometres even today in the hope of making it big on the international stage one day.
It was because of his running skills that he got a job in the police force at a very young age. For three consecutive years from 1974, he won the various range athletic championships. After a gap of 34 years, he was selected for National Masters Athletic Championship where he proved himself yet again.
Every time, his achievements were lauded by the government, but he never benefited financially, he claims.
“They saluted us time and again for our feat. But, nobody ever came forward to extend any financial reward,” said one of his son.
Both his sons have also won many national awards in athletics championships, however, both are unemployed. Jayaprakash’s family runs with the pension money he gets.
“I am growing old but I am not weak, my will to achieve more is not weak either. Government has ignored us, but that doesn’t affect me much. I now aim to win National Masters Athletic championship,” Jayaprakash said.