The land of Jagannath Puri widely known for the lord of the lords ‘Jagannath’, his temple and the world-famous Rath Yatra. And this year, it has been in news since the Bahuda yatra and that too for another reason and that one single guy ‘ Anil Gochhikar ‘ who attracted all the camera lenses towards him.
Yes, his name is Anil Gochikar, who is now widely known as the bodyguard of Jagannath temple. The new internet sensation whose viral picture during the rath yatra is making rounds from facebook to twitter.
He's not your average TV model or actor.— Pagan-Wing (@Times4India) July 22, 2019
Called the bodyguards of Lord Jagannatha, he belongs to the 'daitapati' sect of sevayats (servitors) of Lord Jagannatha at Puri.
Of course some of them have gone to become Mr. India and Mr. Odisha as well. /1 pic.twitter.com/oL5SdzKNgt
Some even say that he belongs to one of those family, who historically were employed by Gajapati to guard temple against Islamic invaders.
But Anil Gochikar’s story is much more than we have known so far!
Anil is not only a state-level but an international bodybuilder and has bagged the title of Mr Odisha in 2012, 2016 and Mr International Indian in 2016. The man who loves spending time with his family.
A lawyer by profession, Anil started bodybuilding when he was 30 and he also owns a gym in Puri district.
In an interview with the Indian bodybuilding magazine, Anil said that “I did not receive any appreciation for it. Even after I won the International India 2016, I did not receive even a call from the authorities to at least congratulate me. They did not even support me to go and participate in that competition. This has been so consistent. They never respond, do not support, do not appreciate, absolutely nothing and this is with every athlete and not just me. This is the biggest setback for us. This is a costly profession.”
It was the year 2016 when he was selected to represent state and nation at Dubai, but none of the authorities came forward to help him. All the support he has got is only from his family, students and friends.
“When I did not receive any support for my participation from the authorities, I went there on my own. It was a tough competition that had invited impressive athletes on one stage. It was a proud moment at the same time, a sad one too. I was in Dubai and there was no one from my side and I felt all alone. It was a big victory and yet there was no one to celebrate it with me. When I turned back, I could not find anyone with me and that made me cry a lot. Then I called back home and talked to my mom. She composed me and that’s how my happiest moment was also in a way my saddest.”, says Anil.