CHENNAI: While growing up, Mulayam Yadav grappled with life's extraordinary challenges. There was a time when he couldn't pay Rs 10,000 as his sports college fees let alone his dietary requirements. Add to it, he lost his father, a daily labourer, to snakebite a few years ago. Given the situation, he even thought of quitting wrestling.
Hailing from Sonbarsa village of Ghazipur district (Uttar Pradesh), Mulayam was facing severe financial constraints then. His father Subba Yadav used to unload building materials apart from cultivating a small piece of land the family owns in the village to make ends meet. It was not easy. However, his family, including uncle Dharmu Yadav, convinced him not to give up the sport. They also contemplated selling the farmland but decided against it as they managed to borrow the amount required to pay the fees.
By then, he had already got selected for Inspire Institute of Sport (IIS), Bellary (Karnataka). A medal in the senior nationals followed which encouraged him to keep performing. "I used to work hard before coming to IIS but improved considerably once I started training here. The role of Iranian coach Amir Tavakolian is very important in ironing out my flaws. It helped me during the trials to get the better off senior wrestlers like Naveen," added Mulayam.