After devastating September floods of 2014 in summer capital Srinagar and its adjoining areas, a 38 years old man has taken an initiative to train boys in swimming, after what he saw that many of them in his locality could not swim during floods.
Inter college swimmer, Medallist, Riyaz Ahmad Wani who is also known as ‘Tiger,’ hails from Downtown area of Srinagar city, has trained hundreds of people since 2014 and that too, free of cost.
“I am not training people here to win medals, but to training them in order to save lives during flood like natural calamities,” he said while talking to Kashmir Vision.
“In 2014 floods, I saw people were helpless that time I decided to train at least one person from every house in the area,” Riyaz said.
Every day, Riyaz reaches to Water Sports Centre Nigeen at 5:00 AM, where hundreds of his students are found waiting for him to start the class.
“I leave home for Water sports centre early in the morning where hundreds of my students daily come and learn techniques of Swimming. I am giving separate training to children also.” Riyaz Said.
“Earlier, with very few people, I started to train people in swimming, but with passing days the number of people increased,” he said adding that the response has been overwhelming.
Riyaz sai that the students are working hard, if given a good platform nobody can stop them in becoming best swimmers of the world.
Despite the non-availability of water pools here, Riyaz has trained hundreds of youngsters in swimming.
“With the help of J&K Tourism Department I had taken this initiative and got good response of people without having any single swimming pool here. There is primary need to improve the infrastructure for swimming,” he said.
“It is amazing that in Delhi there are 35% people experts in swimming, here we have numerous water bodies, as compared to Delhi, but unfortunately, we have got only 5% experts in swimming here,” Riyaz informed.