Imtiyaz comes across as a very soft-spoken, regular man when you meet him outside his favourite place, a gym in his neighbourhood.
But this image of his soon changes and a different version of Imtiyaz appears with a shredded body and that never-say-I-quit look in his eyes once he steps inside. Bodybuilding has been one of his intense childhood passions, and so it has remained to this day.
But that is not all 27-year-old Imtiyaz does. He dons the hat of a successful entrepreneur, philanthropist, coach, guide, and above all, is an inspiration for many youth in Kashmir.
“I love my people and it pains me whenever I read stories of youngsters getting hooked on drugs and other harmful substances. I don’t want our talented youth to get sucked into the whirlpool of drug menace, and that is exactly why I have decided to help as many youth as I can in whatever form I can,” says Imtiyaz.
So far, Imtiyaz has helped many youth in his locality and other places of the Valley financially as well as by providing bodybuilding training online as well as offline.
A few houses down the lane where Imtiyaz lives, we meet Adil Teli. He is reported to have recently set a new world record of cycling from Kashmir to Kanyakumari (nearly 3600 km) in just eight days, 1 hour and 37 minutes.
“Imtiyaz has helped several youth to overcome financial constraints and work on their dreams, because he knows the value of dreams and what it takes to realize them,” says 23-year-old cycling sensation of Kashmir.
“Imtiyaz is one of those rear people who don’t measure success by individual gains but by seeing others grow alongside,” says Akbar Khan, one of the prominent cyclists of the country and Imtiyaz’s neighbour. “It is always inspiring to have him around,” he adds.
Javid Ahmad aka Jaddu, a famous cricketer in Imtiyaz’s neighbourhood and who some say is a star in the making also vouches for his friend’s good Samaritan character. “I know Imtiyaz personally and am aware of his contribution to society, despite being so young. We need more such people in this world,” Jaddu wishes.
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