“Poverty and adversity have produced many of the most successful people in the world.” – Dr T.P.Chia
Chitra P.U, the Indian Track, and Field athlete was the only 3rd Indian runner to have won the Gold at the 2017 Asian Indoor and Martial Arts Games. The 22-year old runner from Kerala is one of the finest Indian runner’s known by the name “Queen of Asia in the mile.” She won many medals in the National and International Meets since her school days in the 1500m, 3000m and 5000m runs.
Born on 9th June 1995 at Mundur in Palakkad District, Kerala, Chitra dreamt of becoming an athlete since her childhood. Her father and mother are agricultural labors working on a daily basis. Although she was born in a poor family, her poverty couldn’t stop her from becoming an athlete.
“Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging.” – Joseph Campbell
Chitra is one among the four children of Unnikrishnan and Vasantha Kumar. Though her parents don’t have enough knowledge in the athletics, they supported her at every stage doing the best they can. Chitra did her graduation in Kerala and her schooling in the Mundur Higher Education School in Palakkad.
PU Chitra received Rs.25/- per day from the Kerala Sports Council and Rs.600/- per month from the Sports Authority of India as a Day-Boarder in School under the Young Athletes Scheme. As her parents were daily labors, she spent days sleeping on an empty stomach when they didn’t find any work for the day.
“If you fall behind, run faster. Never give up, never surrender, and rise against the odds.” – Jesse Jackson
Despite all the difficulties she faced, she used to wake up at 5 in the morning for her training. Her dream to represent the country is the sole force that drives her every moment. In the 56th Indian National School Games held in Pune, Maharashtra in 2011, Chitra won the Gold in the 1500m, 3000m, and 5000m and Bronze in the 3km Cross Country races.This was her 1st remarkable achievement, and from that day she kept on the increasing the count and never looked back.
PU Chitra fought against the Athletics Federation of India for her rejection in the National Team for London World Championship. She got overwhelming support from all over the country for her fight against the injustice done to her during the Team Selection, though she won the Asian Indoor Games which is a direct qualification for the London Championship. Despite all the odds she survived and aims to make India proud in every International event.
Chitra’s story is an inspiration to every typical Indian Youth who have the power and will to achieve their dreams fighting against the odds of life.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” – Walt Disney
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