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Long-distance runner Sudha Singh, who was picked for the Padma Shri in the 2021 honors’ list, is so fiercely focussed on her dream of winning an Olympic medal that she hasn’t visited home in Raebareli, Uttar Pradesh, for well over a year — and has been training in the national camp.
The last time, 34-year-old Sudha, a former national 3,000 meters steeplechase record holder but is now concentrating on the marathon, visited home was in December 2019. The mobile phone is her closest companion for keeping in touch with her family.
“They used to come to meet me. Lockdown started around March last year, and it is going to be a year to that. I last went home long before that, in December 2019. But I speak to my family daily,” Sudha told IANS in an interview from the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Southern Centre, Bengaluru.
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Sudha’s family used to visit her at the national camp when it was at the National Institute of Sport (NIS) in Patiala before the coronavirus-enforced lockdown in March 2020 stopped their visits. “That has stopped because of coronavirus. I don’t really remember the last time I have seen them face to face,” she said.
To remain in touch with her family, Sudha makes do with phone calls regularly. “I speak to them daily and they used to come to meet me. Lockdown started in March and it is going to be a year to that too but I last went home long before that,” she said.
Although Sudha is now focused on marathons, she has an enviable record in the 3,000m steeplechase. She won gold at the 2010 Guangzhou Asian Games and at the 2017 Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar. She has also won silver at 2011, 2017, and 2019 Asian Championships and at the 2018 Asian Games. She represented India at the 2012 and 2016 Olympics and was conferred the Arjuna Award in 2012.
Sudha would be 35 by the time the postponed 2020 Olympics starts on July 23 in Tokyo. Age, however, was a factor that she had defied in the recent past when she won the 3,000 steeplechase silver at the 2018 Asiad. However, the steeplechase has taken a backseat, going into the Olympics and she is looking to meet the qualification mark for the marathon.
With an Olympic medal on the mind, Sudha has currently set her eyes on the 42.195km New Delhi Marathon that is scheduled to take place in the first week of February.
“This would be my third Olympics. I am fit, and now I just need competitions to qualify. Like other athletes, my ultimate aim is to win an Olympic medal. At the marathon, I am looking to break the national record and try and qualify with the timings. After that we will decide upon what is available for the steeplechase,” said Sudha.
Punjab’s O.P. Jaisha’s two hours, 34:43 sec, set in August 2015 in Beijing while Sudha’s best timing is two hours 34:56 sec at the Mumbai Marathon on January 20, 2019. Sudha will have to improve much on her best timing to meet the Olympic qualifying mark, which is two hours 29.30 secs. Sudha is currently training at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Southern Centre, Bengaluru. It was there that she received the news of her being included in the list for this year’s Padma Shri. Six sportspersons, including Sudha, and a coach are this year’s recipient of the honor.
“I was sitting with a few other athletes at the hostel here [on Monday] when I got the news. I never thought that I would be getting the award because so many people apply for it,” she said.
Sudha comes from the small town of Raebareli. She had her primary school education there and admits almost sheepishly that she was never too interested in academics.
“There was an SAI center close by so I used to represent my school in events there. I used to win most of the time over there and so their scouts came home and told my family that I have the potential to do well in athletics,” Athlete Sudha Singh said.
“In 2001, I was selected for the SAI center in Agra. I was very happy that I was being able to make my way in this field because it meant that I didn’t need to study any longer. My father was working in Industrial Telephone Industries Ltd, and he basically said since she had no interest in academics, let her do athletics,” she recalled. Athlete Sudha Singh was about 19, in 2006, when she started running the steeplechase.
“I started out in the sport after I joined the Railways and started representing them in events. Before that, I used to do long-distance running. But when I started representing the Railways in competitions I was finding it difficult to get an entry in long-distance events. The 3,000m steeplechase was a relatively new event and there was hardly anyone taking part in it, so I decided to go for it. It took time to adjust, and in my first few races, I was finishing last. But I worked my way up and in 2007 broke the national record in 3,000m steeplechase,” Athlete Sudha Singh said.
In 2012, Sudha has conferred the Arjuna Award. And, now, she is preparing to compete in her third Olympic Games — with an eye on the podium. (IANS)
Boredom seems to be an unavoidable aspect of existence. Sure, you can pass the time on social media sites like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter when you’re bored but you can only browse for so long before things become monotonous and uninteresting. The internet has revolutionized the world in various ways, be it politics, shopping, or journalism, to name a few. It has also completely redefined how individuals spend their time.
If there is ever a point when the internet is the most beneficial, it’s for curing boredom. Internet is vast and has dozens of websites that may be used to break the monotony.
The internet is vast and has dozens of websites that may be used to break the monotony. | Photo by John Schnobrich on Unsplash
Take a look at these entertaining time-killing websites and put an end to boredom! Here’s the ultimate list of entertaining websites, ranging from intriguing, amusing, and unexpected time-wasters to strange websites to visit while bored.
#1 Find the Invisible Cow: Make sure to keep your volume high for this fun game. Hover your cursor over the screen as you hear the sounds changing their intensity. Keep searching for the cow and click when you think it’s there!
Keep searching for the cow and click when you think it’s there! | Scriptist
#2 Hacker Typer: Do you want to feel like one of those awesome hackers from a Bollywood film? Simply go to this website and smash the keys! As you pretend to be a spy hacking into some vital mainframe, this will thrill and entertain you.
Simply go to this website and smash the keys! | HackerTyper
#3 Wayback Machine: Take a look at some of your favourite websites before they were completely revamped with the help of this website. You only need to enter a URL and select a date. The Wayback Machine will then display a picture of the website from the specific day you’ve chosen.
Take a look at some of your favourite websites before they were completely revamped with the help of this website. | WaybackMachine
#4 The Useless Web: You go to this website, click a large button, and then get sent to a random website on the internet. You may be given a simple game to play, a rain of corn dogs, an endless horse, or you may witness a guy being smacked with an eel.
You go to this website, click a large button, and then get sent to a random website on the internet. | Tim Holma
#5 Pointer Pointer: To begin, move your cursor across the desktop, then wait 3 seconds for a picture of someone, object, or a group of people to emerge on your screen, pointing right at your cursor.
Move your cursor across the desktop and wait for a picture of someone, object, or a group of someone’s to emerge on your screen, pointing right at your cursor. | Pointer Pointer
So there you have it, five websites to cure your boredom from the depths of the internet.
(Keywords: Pointer Pointer, The Useless Web, Hacker Typer, Hacker Typer, Find the Invisible Cow, internet, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, social media, Boredom, Websites)
In a global-first move, ride-hailing major Uber and Meta-owned messaging platform WhatsApp on Thursday announced that people in India can now book an Uber ride via the company's official WhatsApp chatbot. The service is being rolled out on a pilot basis in Lucknow first, and will soon be expanded to other cities in the country.
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"We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip. We are thrilled at this global-first integration for Uber, and look forward to rolling it out across India," said Nandini Maheshwari, Senior Director, Business Development, Uber APAC.
Built on WhatsApp Business Platform, the partnership will expand access to Uber's mobility services in one of the company's largest international markets.
Also Read : How to get an internship under Uber India
Currently, the option to book a ride via WhatsApp will only be available in English but it will be expanded to other Indian languages soon. "The Uber experience on WhatsApp is simple, familiar, and relatable for users and has the potential to accelerate adoption of Uber with a new category of riders in India," said Abhijit Bose, Head of WhatsApp India.
With this integration, riders will no longer need to download or use the Uber app. WhatsApp users can book an Uber ride through three simple ways: messaging to Uber's business account number; scanning a QR code; or clicking a link directly to open an Uber WhatsApp chat.
Built on WhatsApp Business Platform, the partnership will expand access to Uber's mobility services in one of the company's largest international markets.Unsplash
They will be asked to provide pickup and drop off locations. Users will receive upfront fare information and the driver's expected time of arrival. "Riders get the same safety features and insurance protections as those who book trips via the Uber app directly," the company said.
They will be informed of the name of the driver and license plate of the driver on booking; be able to track the location of the driver en route to the pickup point and be able to speak to the driver anonymously using a masked number.
If the user selects the "emergency" option while on the trip, they will receive an inbound call from Uber's customer support team. Uber riders will also have access to its safety line number to call, if needed, until 30 mins after the trip ends. (IANS/SP)
(Keywords : WhatsApp, Uber, India, Lucknow, languages, rider, driver, cab, booking.)
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