81-year old Muhammed Ashiq is a former Olympian who started his sporting career as a boxer. His wife complained about his injuries later and as a result he switched to cycling in the 1950s. Although he did not win any medal for Pakistan, he was still hailed as a national hero. He also represented Pakistan in Rome and Tokyo in 1960 and 1964 respectively.
A sorry tale of Muhammed Ashiq
Muhammed Ashiq now drives a rickshaw in Lahore for his living. He was a PR assistant for some time before leaving the job due to health reasons some forty years ago.
For a brief period, he also drove taxi and a van. However, for the last six years he is compelled to drive rickshaw in the busy and choked streets of Lahore. He earns Rs. 400/- per day which makes about Rs. 12,000/- a month.
Former Olympian lives in a 450-square foot house on which he roughly owes Rs. 1 million.
While talking to AFP, he stated tearfully:
“I just recall that I have shaken hands with former Pakistani prime ministers, presidents, chief executives. Why and how they all forgot me, I cannot believe”
Muhammed Ashiq does look at glitzy trophies that he won for Pakistan decades ago. According to him, most of the people feel that he is dead. He doesn’t want to dependent on his 4 children who doesn’t live with him anymore. Nevertheless, his wife and four children begged him over the years to stop thinking about his fall in life.
He doesn’t hang his medals in the rickshaw anymore. However, he used to in the past. There is a canopy instead that is engraved on the famous quote by former US President Calvin Coolidge.
“Nations and states who forget their heroes can never be prosperous”
He explains his sorry tale to the passengers when they inquire about the message. As a precaution, he also discourages his passengers to take sports as a profession.
Former Olympian prays for his demise
Muhammed Ashiq’s wife was always worried about his health. She used to weep a lot for her husband. He stated:
“She told me to be happy all the time and forget those who forgot us. I said OK, and she became happy for a while”
His wife passed away 2 years ago and now he prays for his demise with his shivering hands. He said:
“My wife died some two years ago. I pray to meet my beloved wife in heaven. I think it is better to avoid this pathetic situation I have endure”
What are your thoughts about the sorry story of Muhammed Ashiq who was once a former Olympian?