Disabled cricketer who once scored 67 off 20 balls, now drives e-rickshaw for survival

Raja Babu came into the limelight when he scored 67 runs in 20 balls in a Divyang cricket match between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in 2017.

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Raja Babu came into the limelight when he scored 67 runs in 20 balls in a Divyang cricket match between Delhi and Uttar Pradesh in 2017. The name of this match played at the national level in the year 2017 was ‘Hausalon ki Udaan’, in which Raja Babu won Uttar Pradesh against Delhi. Let us tell you that Raja Babu has also been the captain of the UP team recognized by the Board of Disabled Cricket Association (BCDA).

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Impressed by the fast batting, a local businessman gave an e-rickshaw to Raja Babu. Babu did not even think then that this reward would be of such use to him one day. The left-handed cricketer was identified as the explosive batsman. Raja Babu became a rage in the state and national level tournaments in the Divyang cricket circuit. In 2017, the captain of the Mumbai team was selected in a T20 tournament on the record of IPL.

However, for more than two years, Raja Babu (31) has been running the same e-rickshaw on the roads of Ghaziabad.

"Right now I am forced to run an e-rickshaw between Baharampur and Vijay Nagar for about 10 hours a day so that I can earn only Rs 250-300. The expenses of the house are not available and there is nothing left for the education of the children. We all know how few employment opportunities there are for the differently-abled", quoted Raja Babu while speaking to Navbharat Times,

Raja babu is originally from Jalaun. He is survived by his wife Nidhi and two children Krishna and Shanvi. Rajababu’s life took a storm when he lost his left leg after being hit by a train. Actually, in the year 1997, Rajababu lost his left leg due to being hit by a train. At that time he was 7 years old. Despite facing so many difficulties in life, he kept his spirits up and learned to play cricket with his friends. 

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Gradually his interest in cricket went on increasing. After that, he continued to play cricket at the club level till the year 2013. He consistently left his mark in cricket with his superior game. Impressed by the game, the Director of the 23 Divyang Cricket Association sent him an invitation to play for DCA. In 2015, he was awarded the Best Player Award in Uttarakhand. After this, he was made the captain of the Divyang team of UP.

Even while playing cricket, Babu had to work here and there. Sometimes e-rickshaw was also run to increase income. But the real trouble came in 2020 when the Divyang Cricket Association (DCA), a charitable organization for disabled cricketers in UP, was dissolved. 

The inflow of money stopped for Raja Babu. Babu says, ‘It really broke our back. For the first few months, I sold milk on the streets of Ghaziabad and drove an e-rickshaw whenever I got a chance. The rest of my teammates used to work as delivery agents and waiters at ‘Disabled Dhaba’ in Meerut during that time. It was opened by Amit Sharma, the founder and coach of the Dhaba Association.

(With inputs from NBT)



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