Against all odds: Domestic help’s daughter wins bronze medal in judo nationals
The one-room rented house where she lives may be hard to find in the narrow lanes of Jalandhar, but her talent is big enough to get her recognition at the national-level.
Sharmila, 12, worked so dedicatedly that people living adjacent to her and in her school, have started admiring her. The small wonder has now won a bronze medal in judo in the Khelo India national-level competitions in Under-14 category, that was held in Jaipur. The national championship was organised by the ministry of youth affairs and sports; where she played in the 23kg category.
Sharmila lives with her mother and her two siblings in a one-room house. A look into the room clearly states of the poor financial condition of the family.
A trunk, a few clothes scattered over the bed, a soft toy, a few photographs on walls, toothbrushes at the back of the bed; everything is incorporated in the single room.
Sharmila’s father, who is a rickshaw-puller, no longer lives with them. Her mother, Sonia, is the only breadwinner of the family, by working in others’ houses. Problems in the family have never deterred the little marvel; instead, they made her a fighter.
Her mother, while talking to HT, said that she leaves home at around 7am to work in other’s homes and comes back at 2pm only to leave again at 3.30pm. Getting emotional, she said, “Bohot mushkil zindagi hai humari. Bohot kam kamati hoon, inki padhayi aur khane ke liye mehnat karti hoon. Sharmila ki iss jeet ne meri zindagi mein bohot khushi di hai.”
She added that Sharmila practices with her brother daily in the morning and runs for hours to remain fit. “Her coach had asked her to maintain the weight of 23kg as she had to play in that category, for that she exercised daily,” said Sonia.
Sharmila, who for the first time had gone to any place outside the city, said that her experience of going to Jaipur was great.
“I saw Hawa Mahal and Rani Mahal and ate a lot of Rajasthani food. I made many friends and enjoyed everyday of my half week stay there,” said Sharmila.
“I will never leave judo in my life, isse bhi zyada medals jeet kar, mamma ko khush karna hai,” she said.