He squats 400kg, but is powerless without money

A medallist at the national and international levels, Mukesh Tripathi harbours grand dreams, but does not have the means to fund them.

Mukesh Tripathi's best competition lifts are 400kg in the squat, 215kg in the bench press, and 292.5kg in the deadlift.   -  Special Arrangement

No matter how strong Mukesh Tripathi becomes, no matter how much jaw-dropping weight he lifts, his "world-class" dreams repeatedly run into a stumbling block called money and die.

Tripathi, 23, is  an up-and-coming powerlifter inching close to world-class levels. A medallist at the national and international levels, the Madhya Pradesh man harbours grand dreams, but does not have the means to fund them.

Powerlifting is not an Olympic sport, and few apart from iron junkies and gym rats know the nuances of a competitive squat, bench press and deadlift. In India, cash rewards for winners are paltry (even non-existent), but public sector undertakings do employ powerlifters, which enables many to pursue their careers.

A commerce graduate hoping to land a job, Mukesh Tripathi's heart is set on participating in the World Powerlifting Championships in Sweden in November.   -  Special Arrangement

 

Son of a retired Army man, the muscled young man, who weighs around 110kg, trains in Bhopal. "My best competition lifts are 400kg in the squat, 215kg in the bench press, and 292.5kg in the deadlift." Step back for a moment, pause, and allow the brain to let all this weight sink in. Yes, it's insanely heavy.

A commerce graduate, hoping to land a job, his heart is set on participating in the World Powerlifting Championships in Sweden in November. "This could be what opens the doors of a job for me," he says.

He needs Rs 2 lakh, which he does not have, to make it to Sweden. "I am going repeatedly to different politicians, who keep asking me to come back. They don't understand my sport and make stinging comments. It is humiliating. I have spoken to relatives and friends, who can at best arrange a few thousand rupees. I don't know how, but I want to compete."  

Powerlifters do what they do because of an unexplainable passion to lift. Tripathi is no different. His WhatsApp status reads: No Powerlifting, No Life. Powerlifters are not only strong, but also headstrong. Tripathi's story, which displays a lot of that bullheadedness, caught the eye of Zaheer Adenwala, co-founder and CTO of crowdfunding platform Ketto, on Facebook.

 

Adenwala tagged Ketto's campaign managers and they started a crowdfunding campaign for Tripathi on September 25. The goal amount is Rs 2 lakh. Amount raised so far: 0. 

 

Tripathi is at his wit's end. "I qualified for the world championships in Canada in 2017, but could not go because I did not have money. I don't know how I am going to do it this time. I am running out of time." 

People who know him have taken his story to social media. Amid the likes, comments and shares, however, people are yet to warm up to backing their good wishes with money.

This strong man knows his story is not a conventional tear-jerker for most, but it is for him. 

https://www.ketto.org/fundraiser/mukeshtripathi