Some British-Indian families were desperately waiting for Neeraj Chopra’s performance in Tokyo Olympics. So much so that many of them assembled to watch his performance in the finals. And, all of them were jumping with joy when Neeraj Chopra’s golden finish was announced.
“Oh yes, it was very personal. It felt like we had won, each one of us,” says Kuldeep Ahlawat, a London-based businessman and the president of Haryana in UK Association.
‘Haryana in UK Association’ takes pride in having a special connection with Neeraj Chopra, the first-ever Olympic Gold Medalist in Athletics from India.
Mr Ahlawat says, “We certainly feel Neeraj is one of us. He was with us, virtually, of course, to receive the 2020 Haryana Gaurav Award last year.”
The Haryana in UK Association acknowledges Haryanvis performing exceptionally in various fields, by this award. In 2020, Neeraj Chopra, who hails from Panipat in Haryana, received Haryana Gaurav Award.
However, this was not his first interaction with the Haryana in UK Association. He was felicitated by the association in 2017 when the then 19-year-old visited the United Kingdom to participate in the World Athletics Championship.
Though he failed to make it to the final round in London, the association had received the then junior national record holder as a hero.
“He was special. We knew he was special,” says Mr Ahlawat, adding that the youngsters were eager to watch his performance in Tokyo and are inspired by him.
Anshu Dagar, Meenakshi Dagar, Sandeep and Vineeta Saroha, Ashwani and Kusum Kalkal, Kuldeep and Sheetal Ahlawat, Vivek and Meenu Dahyal, Manish and Priya Dahiya, Rinku and Reena Dhankhar, Dhirender and Mona Dangi, Ankit Taxak and Ravinder Sheokand,pr everyone prayed for Neeraj Chopra with folded hands while all his young fans including Vidita, Ishan, Avishi, Avyukt, Ananya, Aryan, Maya, Shahak, Mahak, Suhani, Ranveer and Aditya were watching history in the making in amazement.