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Contract farmers hit bull?s eye

Mangal Ho and Dilgu Ho tills others? land for a living. But they had set their sights on another goal: archery, writes Animesh Bisoee.

india Updated: Feb 12, 2007 00:41 IST

The brothers tilled others’ land for a living. But they had set their sights on another goal: archery. Mangal Ho and Dilgu Ho, residents of Patahatu village of Haribhanj panchayat in Kharswan block of neighbouring Seraikella-Kharswan district,

They are on track to realising it after an outstanding performance in the National School Archery Championship and earning attention of Jharkhand Archery Association (JAA).

The two brothers Mangal Ho and Dilgu Ho, residents of Patahatu village of Haribhanj panchayat in Kharswan block of neighbouring Seraikella-Kharswan district, not only bagged gold in their respective age categories at the tourney's recurve section but also earned praise from none other than legendary archer Limba Ram.

"Their body language is definitely good. They have the potential in them to make it big in archery arena," is what Limba Ram had said to Seraikella-Kharswan Archery Association secretary Suman Mohanty.

The two brothers used to help their father Chamru Ho, a contract labourer, in tilling other fields to earn just about enough income to feed their family comprising of three brothers and two sisters. However, early in the morning they used to practice with bamboo made traditional bows in the nearby woods. But taking up archery seriously was not in their mind as they had to skip even studies due to abject poverty.

It was in 2003 that a ray of hope emerged with Seraikella-Kharswan district archery body picking up the two during a talent hunt programme for its newly made archery training centre.

"After day's long work it was virtually impossible for them to continue archery. They had even abandoned school. We decided to take them under our residential training centre and meet there training and educational expenses," said Suman.

The two boys grabbed opportunity and also restarted their schoolings along with practice. "While Mangal would be completing matriculation this year at Government High School, Seraikella his younger brother Dilgu Ho is studying in class VII at Gangudih Madhya Vidyalaya, Haribhanj panchayat," said the two brothers.

Incidentally, Mangal Ho has already bagged gold in junior nationals held at Gangtok last year and helped State team win bronze while his younger brother made his maiden appearance at school nationals.