Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav or KD Jadhav, he won the Wrestling Bronze medal in type bantamweight in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics, and made history as Independent India’s first individual Olympic medalist. Before that Khashaba Jadhav bagged 6th place in the 1948 London Olympics (freestyle/flyweight). Before Khashaba Jadhav India had won the Gold medals in Hockey only.
On his return, there were plenty of functions staged to honor him. But the one that pleased him the most was the traditional welcome by his villagers, a procession of 151 bullock carts that carried their hero a distance of 40 kilometers to his home village of Goleshswar.
His father Dadasaheb Jadhav, a wrestler himself taught Jadhav about the sport.
Despite this unique achievement he was largely forgotten in India. After Olympics he was serving in the state police and was living in poverty.
Despite his achievement, Jadhav got no national or state recognition, no Arjuna Award and no cash awards inn his lifetime. Even after his death his widow Kusum received nothing save Rs. 25,000 as compensation. A lifetime in the police force and yet the family lived barely above the poverty line in Karad, Maharashtra.
Nation’s most renowned sporting person was neglected during his lifetime and forgotten after his tragic death in a road accident in 1984.
This is real shameful thing for us that we have no respect for our Lifetime Heros, and we (our government) has nothing to do with these things than playing dirt game of politics.
In 1993, Maharashtra State awarded him Shiv Chatrapati Award posthumously. In 2001, Central Govt. has also awarded him ‘Arjuna Award’ posthumously.