A viral Facebook post on national hockey player Devindar Walmiki is winning hearts online. The post, shared by popular Facebook page 'Humans of Bombay', talks about his struggles and his journey to becoming a celebrated hockey player. In the post, Devindar speaks about his childhood, when he lived in a slum in Mumbai with his family, and his rise to becoming a hockey star.
"My parents moved from a village to Mumbai for a better life," he says. "We rented a 10x10 house in the slum, but we couldn't afford clean water or electricity."
He talks about studying under streetlights and skipping meals to get by. He then goes on to speak about the day he discovered hockey, and how the sport changed his life.
"When I was in 9th grade, my brother had started playing Hockey in school. I'd no idea about the sport, but once I decided to go and watch him play," he says.
Looking at his brother (Yuvraj Walmiki - also a national hockey player now) inspired Devindar.
"I practised everyday, and when I was on the field, I wasn't worried about where I came from, and what my conditions were -- it was just me, doing what I wanted to," he says.
His hard work paid off when he was selected for the under 18 national team and got the opportunity to represent India for the Asian Cup in Burma.
"I put my heart and soul into playing, after that," he says. "My matches would be come on TV, but my parents would have to request neighbours or go to a local shop to watch me play.
"So I'd decided that if I ever played for the country in the Olympics, I'd get my parents an electricity connection and a huge TV - so that they can watch their son play, proudly."
Devindar's dream was fulfilled when he was selected to play in the Rio Olympics 2016.
"I used my savings and bought my parents a TV too," he says, adding that every "hardship and struggle" was worth it. And even though the team did not win, he says representing his country was his win.
Read his post below:
Today, Devindar also plays for a European club and aspires to win the next Olympics.
His story has collected over 10,000 'likes' and hundreds of comments.
"Wow... very touching and inspiring journey," wrote one commenter. "Salute to you brother. What a brave journey you had," said another. "You're an inspiration for so many," a third added.
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