Pradip Kumar - 6th in Mr India Contest in Meerut, 2008

By Dr. Rajkumar Singh *

[ Updated on 09th April 2008 ]

by Dr. Shantikumar

Surrounded and cheered by several hundreds or a thousand plus crowds there stood on the stage the top six finalists of the 55 kgs group. It was in the 47th Senior National Body Building Championship which was held from March 28th to 30th, 2008 in Meerut, U.P. One of the top 6 body builders was none other than HIV+ Pradipkumar from Manipur.

Out of thousands of bodybuilders from all over India only about 300 bodybuilders could be qualified for that big event. Out of these 300 athletes, again, only 60 athletes from ten different categories could really stand on the stage for the final show down.

They were the best bodybuilders in the country for the year 2008, so far. Some of them will even represent India in the international championships. HIV+ Pradipkumar from Manipur was one of the best bodybuilders.

It is very easy to say "What? He got only sixth place." But in reality, how many bodybuilders could even stand on that stage ? Only 60 bodybuilders from all over the country could actually stand on the final big event.

Yes, Pradipkumar got sixth position in the 55 kgs group, but it doesn't mean he was a loser. He was still a winner. In fact, he had beaten hundreds of body builders all over India.

As an experienced international bodybuilder, I knew it would not be easy for Pradip to really win the title, considering the following factors:

Firstly, most of the competitors in his group were experienced and champions in the previous national championships. They trained in better gyms, nourished better and came from well-to-do states. Pradip was first timer and you might have heard about his financial problems and seen in what kind of gym he trains.

Secondly, he had very short time to prepare for the big championship. Before Mr Manipur Contest 2007, he never knew if he would be qualified for the national championship. So, Pradip didn't prepare early enough. In such a short period of time it is very hard to make up his physical weak points. ( He has some physical weak points I could see from his photos.)

Thirdly, he lacked national level performance experiences as it was his first time to compete in the national championship. In bodybuilding it is not only the physical superiority that leads to winning. Experience and self-confidence also count a lot. Without experience and self-confidence no bodybuilder can win, unless he's given to.

Fourthly, he was new to the judges. It means a lot of disadvantages for Pradip. As we all know, bodybuilding judging system is very subjective. So, it is very important for the bodybuilders to be known by those judging panels. Even the best bodybuilder in he eyes of the audience may not win the title if he's new to the Judges. Pradip was new to all of the judges.

In fifth point, he didn't represent any Department like: Railways, Services, CRPF or others. It is easier to be winner if they are from big departments.

Next, there are always large number of strong opponents in a bigger level championships like Mr India. They are the best representatives from different departments or states. It is not easy to beat each other.

Finally, the biggest problem above all these is his HIV+ symptoms. This really disturbs Pradipkumar mentally and physically. For many HIV+ patients, instead of standing and fighting against the disease, they would hide in their lonely cell, but not for Pradip.

Against all the odds he tried his best. Of course, 6th position in the national championship is not what we all expected and for Pradip, too. But it was a big achievement for a first timer, especially, for an HIV+ patient.

For him, getting the 6th position is not the end, but the beginning of a bigger vision. Not defeated by the position, he has started training hard again for another national level championship which will be held in June, Maharastra, this year.

Considering all the factors mentioned above, his undefeatable and challenging mind, Pradipkumar is still a winner.Let us all support him and wish him the best for the next championship.

Finally, Pradip, you did great , and you will do great in the future, too. Keep going.

Hi All,

Pradip Kumar could enter the final round of the Mr India Contest in Meerut, India on March 30, 2008 and win the 6th Position. His achievement is still rated commendable by the veteran Body Builder Dr. Shantikumar whose letter is reproduced below.

Pradip Kumar during his training session

Pradip Kumar still remains undaunted and is planning to participate in another national level body building competition in Maharastra State in June 2008. Let us congratulate him and wish him success in the next competition.

The Steering Committee.


Dear Members,

Let us congratulate Pradipkumar for his achievement in Mr. India Contest, 2008. Of course , it is not the level we all expected as well as Pradip himself.

But it is not bad either, considering many factors like : his HIV, competing for the first time(judges don't know him), less experience in the National level (showing self confidence), very short time preparation (he never knew if he would be qualified for national), didn't represent any company like Railways or Services (easier for them), large number of competitors; and judges' fairness (I am not sure).

Actually, Pradipkumar did very good.

He got top six in 55 kg. category in his first attempt. He tried his best against all the odds.

He still is the winner.

Dr. Shantikumar.

* Dr. Rajkumar Singh, an Environmental Scientist from Toronto, Canada, contributed regularly to . The writer can be contacted at raj_ss(at)rogers(dot)com . This article was later updated on April 9th 2008 by Dr. Shantikumar - ngangbia(at)yahoo(dot)com This article was webcasted on April 07, 2008.

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