Pakistan’s first Asian Games gold medallist now living a miserable life
Do you know who won the first gold medal for Pakistan in any sport at the international level? The award was won by wrestler Din Mohammad at the 1954 Asian Games in Manila.
But today, at the age of 95, Din Muhammad is living in obscurity in a village in Batapur, a suburb of Lahore near Wagah Border.
Din Muhammad won the first gold medal in flyweight (52kg) category for Pakistan after beating the Indian wrestler. Din Muhammad also outclassed the Japanese wrestler Yushu Kitano, who was the big name in the flyweight category at that time.
According to reports, Din Muhammad shared his earliest memories that when he came back to Pakistan after winning the gold medalist, the overwhelmingly people toured him whole Lahore on an elephant ride. He said, “But they brought back their elephant and left him on the road to come reach his home without having any money in his pocket.”
“The authorities presented me four tola gold award at the time when gold price was Rs 50 per tola but I refused to accept the gold because of fear I would have waste it unwisely.”
The gold medalist said he asked for a piece of land instead of award and authorities promised me but the promise was never materialized.
Din Muhammad said when he both countries came into being in 1947, few boys at that time used to oil their body in Bata Factory in Bata Pur. I joined Bata factory.
“I am saddened over the government’s attitude because the village men celebrated my award winning at the international level but my government did not offer any help since decades and when I won a medal later in Dhaka instead of coming to Lahore I went straight back to my home.”
He added, “The wrestling did not end my poverty.”
It is pertinent to note that Federal Minister of Inter-Provincial Coordination (IPC) Dr Fehmida Mirza approved the grant during the Pakistan Sports Board (PSB) executive committee meeting that Pakistan’s first ever Asian Games gold medalist wrestler Din Muhammad was given Rs 500,000 grant to look after his ailing health.