P.T. Usha is still one of the most recognised faces in the country, a good seven years after she last ran her race.
"It's heartening to find that people haven't forgotten me. Just now, I was posing for a photograph with some schoolchildren here in Kozhikode. It's outside Kerala that I get more requests for autographs," says Usha.
Usha, one of the all-time greats in Indian sports, says she has become busier after she quit the track. She is back after attending the relaunch function of Sportstar magazine in Chennai. "Though I get a lot of invitations to inaugurate and speak at functions, I accept only a select few," says the golden girl of Indian athletics.
Usha is currently busy with her dream project, the Usha School of Athletics. Six of her wards at the school, who competed in the National Schools Games in Pune recently, won eight medals between them. "I'm very happy with the result," says Usha.
She is much in demand as a talent scout. "Last year, I went to many cities to select young athletes for the Fair & Lovely Foundation," she says. "This year, I've had to reject a couple of similar offers because I didn't have time."
P.K. Ajith Kumar