Though they had never met Anas or his family, the couple was proud of the young man’s achievements and moved by his plight.

Kerala couple gifts land to Olympian Muhammed Anas Yahiya after learning of his plight
news Human Interest Sunday, February 02, 2020 - 11:57

In 2018, 25-year-old Olympic sprinter Muhammed Anas Yahiya from Nilamel of Kollam district was gifted a two-wheeler by his Panchayat to celebrate his victory in the Asian Games, where he won three silver medals. But Anas’ mother was not excited about this gift. A two-wheeler would be no use to her son as there was no approach road to their house. Following media reports, the Panchayat decided to give the Arjuna award winner a cash prize instead of the vehicle.

These reports caught the attention of Sasidharan Nair, who runs an Ayurveda shop in Nilamel, and his wife Vineetha Kumari, a higher secondary school teacher. Though they had never met Anas or his family, they were proud of the young man’s achievements and moved by his plight. The couple then decided to offer five cents of land to Anas to build a home of his own.

"We offered them the land two years ago. But that time they were not able to construct due to financial constraints. Now Madhyamam, a media organisation, and AMMA, the film actors organisation, has offered to help them. So that they can finally build a house and we donated the land," Sasidharan told TNM.

Sasidharan is a former volleyball player, but his passion for sports was not the reason he decided to help Anas. "He made our village famous. He deserves a better place to live," Sasidharan said.

Anas and his family were living in a small house at the end of a narrow road that could only be traversed by foot. "We were living on our ancestral property. We did not have our own house. We were so happy when we received this offer two years ago," Anas' mother Sheena told TNM.

"We will be grateful to him forever. I haven't met Sasidharan Nair or his wife yet. But they are in our prayers," she added.

The land now has proper road connectivity and is closer to Nilamel town.

Anas had won three silver medals in 2018 Asian games in the men's 400-metre, men's 400-metre relay and mixed 400-metre relay. He competed in the 2016 Summer Olympics and also holds a national record in the 400 metre. He is currently preparing for his second Olympics.

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