Sudhakar Paswan practises in Jamshedpur on Friday. Picture by Bhola Prasad
One bigha land has fetched a Jamshedpur boy a bronze medal.
May sound bizarre, but that’s how Sudhakar Paswan came to book the third slot at the Youth World Archery Championship held in Wuxi, China, from October 13 to 20 this year.
The 20-year-old compound archer’s mother, Bucchi Devi, had mortgaged one bigha of their ancestral land in Madhubani, Bihar, for Rs 1.75 lakh so that Sudhakar could buy a bow — a basic essential to take part in any archery competition.
“I bought a second-hand bow from a competitor from the US during the China meet, as the one at my disposal was not fit for competition. I am thankful to my mother for giving me the money. The bronze medal is a gift to her,” Sudhakar, who resides at Namda Bustee near Golmuri, told The Telegraph.
The archer, who studies at a college in Jalandhar, Punjab, added that his mother gave him Rs 65,000, of which he spent Rs 48,000 on the bow and the rest for other accessories.
“I had two bows, but both were in poor shape. One was given by the state archery outfit for the National Games in 2011 and the other I had arranged on my own,” he added.
Sudhakar, who doesn’t have his father, had started his career with recurve archery in 2005 when he was only 13, but was forced to switch to compound category due to financial constraints. “We did not have money to buy a recurve bow that costs something around Rs 1.5 lakh. So I shifted to compound archery, as the equipment prices are much less. I have settled to a nicety,” said the final-year commerce student.
Bucchi Devi said she felt sad when her son skipped practice sessions for want of equipment.
“Jab pata chala ki woh Bhartiya team ke liye chuna gaya hain toh maine socha uski madad karni chahiye. Main hamara jameen girvi rakh kar Sudhakar ko paise diya. Mujhe vishwas tha ki woh medal jaroor layega (I thought I should help my son when he got selected for the Indian team. I mortgaged our land and gave him the money. I was sure that he would win a medal),” said the humble homemaker.
Son of an assistant police inspector and youngest of three siblings, Sudhakar had fought many odds from a tender age. He lost his father when he was only 16.
Despite hurdles, the young archer has already competed in international events, including the Asian Grand Prix held in Bangkok in April 2009. He followed it up with the World Youth Championship the same year.
Sudhakar also represented the country in the Summer Universiade Games in China in 2011. Recently, he took part in the 34th Senior National Championship in Jamshedpur and bagged gold in the mixed category.
Sudhakar’s elder brother got his father’s job and is posted in Bihar, while his 23-year-old sister completed her MSc recently and is pursuing another course.
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