Kolkata: Kolkata-based Mohammad Azajuddin and Jashika Khan - the young gymnasts in a viral TikTok video - have garnered immense praise on social media for their acrobatics, including applause from five-time Olympic gold medalist gymnast Nadia Comaneci and Union Sports Minister Karen Rijiju.
Jashika, 11, and Azajuddin, 12, also known by their loved ones as Lovely and Ali, are now eyeing for a career in gymnastics.
Soon after watching their video, Comaneci posted it on Twitter and wrote, "This is awesome."
Not just her, Rijiju also took cognizance of the matter and tweeted, "I'm happy that Comaneci tweeted it! As first gymnast who scored perfect 10.0 at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and then, received six more perfect 10s to win three gold medals, it becomes very special. I've urged to introduce these kids to me."
On September 3, Rijiju again wrote, "Gr8! Will put someone from Sports Authority of India on the job! Opportunities will be given if the kids desire to get out of their present school to pursue a career in gymnastics."
Jashika, Azajuddin, their dance teacher Shekhar Rao and their parents are amazed after being appreciated over social media.
"I felt great joy when I came to know about it, I told my parents too and they were very happy. I have been doing it for four years, I want to become a gymnast like Comaneci in the future," Jashika told ANI here.
Azajuddin said, "I want to do something to make my dance teacher proud. If I get a chance to do gymnastics in future, I will take it but I will never stop dancing."
Their dancer teacher, Shekhar Rao, wishes that they should be provided financial aid and better training facilities.
"I have been running this dance academy for last five years. Dancing is my passion and I wish to provide facilities to young children, who love dancing. When I saw Kiren Rijiju’s tweet, I was shocked. After Nadia Comaneci tweeted, I felt that these children have that talent to become gymnasts. So far, I have not received any communication from the Sports Minister. Both these kids have been training here for the past four years," Rao said.
"All the children learning dance here do not belong to well to do families. If I will get more equipment and financial help then I will be able to train these children in a better way. My only request to the Sports Minister will be to make a bright future for Lovely and Ali. This is just the beginning. They need to learn a lot to become world-class gymnasts," he added.
Jessica's mother Reshma Khatoon shared that her family is fully supportive of her daughter eyeing a career in gymnastics, but they need financial help for it as husband earns Rs 9,000 a month and she also works at a tailor shop.
"At first, we didn't know that they did something like this. When they posted it on TikTok and it became viral from there, I couldn't believe that my daughter has done this. Since the last two-three days, I have not been able to control my emotions. It's an incredible moment for me," Khatoon said.
"I just want that if the Sports Minister believes that my child is talented then he should come forward and help us. If would be great if my daughter can get training from a good trainer in gymnastics. I wish she can bring at least one Gold Medal for India and can represent the country at Olympics," she added.
Asked whether her husband supports Jessica, she said, "I have three daughters. Their father has always said to me that we should consider them as our three sons and not three daughters."
Mohammed Raju, father of Azajuddin, said, "I was really happy to see that my son has done something and made us proud."