Among eighty-one athletes in London who represent the largest Indian contingent ever to participate at the Olympic Games is the princess of Jharkhand-Deepika Kumari.While she gets down to serious business of winning medals evenas most of the world watched the opening ceremony tonight,her parents here have been praying for her success.
“God has always been kind to us.We are sure she will bring good name for the country”,says her father Shivcharan as her mother Geeta smiles.
For Shiv Charan,an auto-rickshaw driver,and Geeta,a nurse,today the fulmilment of the family’s collective dream.That was when her 19 year old daughter marched past at the Olympic Games opening ceremony.
This is the time of emotion running high for her parents who belonged to lower income group.They recall the old days when she was in need of any kind of archery equipment,they would adjust their domestic expenditure.But this was not enough.
Deepika used to shoot arrows from a bamboo bow and she knew this rudimentary equipment had no place in modern and competitive archery.Since her parents had no money to buy it for her,they approached the chief minister Arjun Munda,who had set up an archery academy in the state.”When we met Mundaji and his wife Meeraji and asked them to help her get a state of the art equipment and facility,they not only responded favourably,but also changed the course of her life”,says Shiv Charan with tears welling up in his eyes.
Munda put up her up in the academy where she excelled so much that the Tata’s archery academy enrolled her.”From there on,she never looked back”,says Geeta.
Tonight they cheered her at on the TV screen showing her marching past with the Indian contingent.Even Arjun Munda and Meera,whose benevolence had helped India become a major force in world archery,if the rankings are anything to go by,are watching eagerly.In any case,Deepika now shoulder’s burden of high expectations.