Mother, Daughter and the road to Gold:
Boxer Jamuna Boro being declared winner against compatriot Sandhyarani Devi in the final of the second Indian Open International Boxing Championship at Guwahat meant that
it was a moment of reckoning for her mother Nirmala who sold vegetables to fuel her daughter’s boxing dreams.
It was obviouslt an emotional moment:
“It was for the first time they saw me in the ring and winning the gold medal in front of them was really special. I will cherish this forever,” Jamuna, who beat Sandhyarani Devi 5-0 in the final bout.
Jamuna’s feat was also duly noticed by the Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, who is all set to felicitate her at his office, Boxing Federation of India chief Ajay Singh said.
“He (Sonowal) has asked for a special meeting with her and her mother in his office. He would like to felicitate her separately. These are great stories for the state and for the sport of boxing,” Singh said.
“Hers is an incredible story. To come up from that background, and win medals at this stage is incredible. They are our true role models.”
The Boro family travelled all the way from Dhekiajuli, about 130 km from Guwahati, to cheer for the 22-year-old who was up against her ‘nemesis’ Meena Kumari Maisnam, the World Cup gold medal winner in Cologne last month, in the semifinal.
The 2014 Asian Championships bronze medallist and three-time national champion, Meena, had beaten Jamuna four times previously, the most recent being in the Asian Championships trials earlier this year.
Jamuna was under tremendous pressure ahead of the semifinal bout and her mother had to calm her down.
“She told me, ‘Life never stops even if you lose. There’s nothing to be worried about. It’s a game after all'. It worked as magic and I found myself without any pressure, for the first time against her. I think it was key to the win,” said Jamuna about the 5-0 semifinal win over the Strandja Cup gold medallist.
Jamuna may have fought it all alone in the ring but outside of it, her mother had an equal share of battle and hardships.
Having lost her father at an early age, Jamuna and her two elder siblings were raised by Nirmala in a tin-roof hut in Belsiri.
“My mother spent days without food on many occasions but she always ensured that I never slept hungry. She would leave home very early to sell vegetables, leaving me with my sister. They have gone through a lot of hardships. Now it’s time to give it back,” Jamuna, who’s building a 3BHK house for them at Dhekiajuli, said.
After joining Assam Rifles last year, Jamuna also ensured that her mother stop selling vegetables.
“The financial condition has improved now. I’m happy that the bad days are over for her. She does not have to go selling for vegetables again,” Jamuna who won the Youth World Championships bronze in Taipei in 2015, said.
Exactly 10 years ago, a journey of struggle began for the mother and daughter duo when a 12-year-old Jamuna left her remote village in Belsiri and joined Sports Authority of India in Guwahati to pursue boxing.
This shows how when a Government, currently led by Sarbananda Sonowal, sets down to help polish talent -regardless from where it is sourced, that talent pays back, manifold. Thank you Jamuna for making us proud, thank you Nirmala for never losing hope.
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