Sahnawaz Alam / Sonepat (Haryana)
The journey of the 26-year-old Nisha Warsi, India Olympic team’s defender from a two-room house in Sonipat, Haryana to Tokyo is of sheer grit to overcome hurdles and adversities in life.
Nisha, hails from a conservative community of Muslims and she had to come up in life from a hostile milieu. Not only she had to score goals and defend against the rivals in the field Nisha also had to work her way up from among her people.
Fed up of poverty and the taunts of the people around her, she had even made up her mind to leave the game. However, it never happened for Nisha rediscovered had faith in herself and the spirit to overcome restrictions and disapprovals.
Her determination to prove herself has taken her to the position where she stands today. Haryana government has given a reward of five lakh rupees to her for her performance in the national team.
Nisha's father Sohrab Ahmed used to work as a tailor. He was struck with paralysis five years ago as a result the family had no earning member and fell to penury.
Her mother Mahroon started working in a foam factory to take care of the family and also her husband’s treatment.
Nisha once said her life was not easy. She said she was always interested in sports, but had cravings for food at home. However, it was impossible for her to spend on sports equipment and coaching and since hockey didn’t require heavy investment, she chose the sports.
Parents of Nisha Warsi
Describing her early days, she says, the training ground was about half an hour away from home and she was required to leave at 4.30 in the morning. She was afraid to leave the house alone but somehow managed. Her mother would wake her up at 4 am and cook breakfast for her to carry. Though there was a lot of financial trouble at home her parents would see her off to the stadium every day.
Nisha gives credit for improving her game to the Commonwealth Games medalist Pritam Rani Siwach. At Siwach Academy in Sonipat, Nisha also learned to be courageous in life and the nuances of the game.
As her game improved, Nisha was selected in the Haryana team and got to play at the national level Thereafter she was also selected in the Indian Railways in the sports quota. She was selected for the boot camp for the Indian camp in 2018 and a year later she was selected as a member of the Indian National Hockey team.
So far she has bagged nine India Caps. The cap is given to the best performing player in a match.
Hockey coach Siwach says, Nisha's defending technique is great and she is very good at coordinating with other players. Due to team spirit and dedication, Nisha is a part of the biggest sports event in the world today.