Assam girl Kalpana fight poverty to win boxing gold

Guwahati, Sep 30 (UNI) The fragile look and diminutive stature hides behind it Asia's latest woman boxing champion, Kalpana Choudhury, who has overcome powerful opponents and extreme poverty to win the top honours.

Hailing from a poor family who just makes both ends meet, the Assam girl went on to win the gold medal in the light-fly weight category at the just concluded fourth Asian Women Boxing Championship here in front of her home crowd.

While hundreds of supporters of this 18-year-old teenager filled the stadium, her parents could not travel to Guwahati from far end of the state to cheer their daughter as they were unable to meet the expenses.

Kalpana's parents work as daily wage labourers, with the family reeling under abject poverty.

Her journey to success started when she was noticed at an Inter-District Women's Boxing event. In 2003, she was brought under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) wings, and them there was no looking back for this rising star.

Accepting the challenging task of fighting poverty with her sporting talents to turn her family's fortunes, Kalpana has made huge strides in her way to her destination.

She has picked up six medals in the last two years, of which three are gold, including the one she won here.

With the medals attention and fame followed, which has now translated into financial help with the Assam Chief Minister awarding her Rs 10 lakh for her gold medal.

With a country indulging in worship of make-believe stars and starved of real achievers who have defeated adversities to emerge winners, Kalpana shines as a name to acquire iconic status.


Story first published: Wednesday, October 1, 2008, 12:27 [IST]
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