Imagine a tree standing upright on a small piece of land and rocks amidst water flowing furiously. For an onlooker, the tree becomes a symbol of success and determination by the virtue of constant support from the land. Such is the story of this boxer and her mother from a humble village called Belsiri, Assam.
Jamuna Bodo is a 19-year-old international boxer who brought India many medals without any special facility or resources for training available in her village. She won gold in the 2nd Nations Cup International Sub-Junior Girls Boxing Tournament held in Serbia in 2013. Jamuna is the youngest daughter of Nirmala Bodo who is a vegetable vendor in the village.
The story of this mother-daughter duo is a tale of winning over adversities. Nirmala Bodo’s husband died when their three kids were still young. She took up all the responsibilities and let her children follow their dreams. Jamuna, her youngest, started with learning Wushu, a form of Chinese Martial Arts. Soon enough, she started training for boxing and competing on international platforms.
Jamuna informs BBC,
I was only 10 years old when my father died. Since then, my mother has brought up the three brothers and sisters. In the village, some older boys used to practice Wushu. I used to go see them practice, but later, I felt that I can learn this art form as well.
In 2014, Jamuna won gold in the tournament held in Russia. She also won a bronze medal at the Youth World Boxing Championship 2015, in the 57 kg category, in Taipei. Although she has made a mark in women’s boxing at an international level, the status has not brought much change in their economic condition. Her mother still sits outside the railway station of Belsiri selling vegetables.
Jamuna further says,
My mother’s condition inspires me to work even harder in boxing.
In a country where a whole team of cricketers gets unimaginably grand gifts for their achievements, it is saddening to see the biased behavior towards star performers of other sports. However, nothing can deter the resilient spirit of Jamuna as she is aiming for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics in.
With a rock strong support and inspiration from her mother, Jamuna is actively playing on the national level. She is proud of her mother and calls Mary Kom an ideal. With two strong ladies in her mind, Jamuna Bodo is gearing up to go places.