Hiralal Baliyan had joined the Delhi Police as a constable in 1982. (File)
Delhi Police Inspector Hiralal Baliyan was 45 years old when he participated in his first-ever half-marathon in 2009. He was hooked and never looked back, winning 53 medals in sprint races and half-marathons over the years.
Mr Baliyan is set to retire on June 30 after completing almost four decades in service during which he won nearly 380 awards, including 126 commendation rolls by the Delhi Police commissioner.
His journey began from Haryana's Bhiwani district where he was born to a farmer, the youngest among seven children. He was in class 5 when he started exercising daily and over the years fitness became his passion.
"I have taken care of my health since childhood. I always ate home-cooked food and never missed morning exercise," Mr Baliyan told news agency PTI.
Baliyan, who joined the Delhi Police as a constable in 1982, has had an inspiring career. He participated in the Republic Day parades in 1983, 1984, 1985 and 2022 as well. He was the platoon commander in the silver jubilee parade of the force's Raising Day on February 16.
He was also a part of the Independence Day parades in 1984 and 1985.
"In 2009, I participated in the Airtel half-marathon for the first time. I was always passionate about fitness but also performed my duty with dedication. In 2014, I took part in the Airtel half-marathon again and completed it in 43 minutes and 12 seconds, securing the 13th place," the police official said.
Mr Baliyan said there are very few athletes who participate in marathons as well as in sprints of 100 m, 200 m and 400 m because muscle requirement for both are extremely different.
In 2016, he won three gold medals in Annual Delhi States Masters Athletics Championship (100 m), (200 m) and (400 m). In 2017, he ranked 9th in the IDBI Federal Life Insurance New Delhi Half-Marathon. In the same year, he again took part in the annual Delhi athletics championship and won silver medal in the 400 m race, gold in the 200 m race and bronze in 100 m race, he said.
In 2018, Mr Baliyan participated in 10-km NSG marathan to commemorate 10 years of the 26/11 Mumbai attacks and secured the fourth position, while he came fifth in the 11th Edition of Airtel Delhi Half Marathon.
Mr Baliyan also inspired other members of his family to focus on fitness. He ran with his son Manoj Kumar Baliyan and grandson Bhavesh Baliyan in the 2020 IDBI half-marathon.
"I completed Yoga Teacher Teaching Course in 2016. Two years later, I got a masters' degree in Yoga and Science of Living, along with my two daughters-in-law," the official said.
As nutrition is an important part of fitness, he earned a diploma in naturopathy from the Akhil Bharatiya Prakritik Chikitsa Parishad.
In his 39-year of service, Mr Baliyan said, he has got two out-of-turn promotions. First was in 2005, when he was promoted to the rank of assistant sub-inspector from head constable. The second one was in 2018 when he became an inspector.
He has so far received 380 rewards, including 53 medals -- 16 gold, nine silver, nine bronze in athletics and 19 medals in half-marathons. He has also been awarded 126 commendation rolls by Delhi Police commissioner.
The official said there are four important pillars in life -- family, duty, studies and sports. He completed his graduation from Maharshi Dayanand University in Rohtak and finished his LLB in 2007.
"I have always focused on fitness since my childhood. I started working out when I was in Class 5. My dinner time is before 6 pm and after that I only take milk. I just eat cow ghee. I wake up at 5 am in the morning and immediately go to the ground for exercise. We do not use spices, white salt and sugar in our diet. We do not eat fried food either," he said.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)