Heptathlete Swapna Barman made the country proud by winning Gold Medal at the recently concluded Asian Games. Barman who even after finishing fourth in the 800m race event was adjudged the winner as she had scored more than enough points in the earlier events (A heptathlon is a combination of track and field events contest made up of seven events). Swapna collapsed right after finishing fourth in the 800m event and required special medical attention to bring her back to normalcy. This young girl from West Bengal made the country proud by winning Gold even though she was going through immense pain.
Out of the 12 Gold Medals won by Indian contingent at the Asian Athletics Championship in Bhubaneswar on 9th of July 2017, the most inspiring victory was that of Swapna Barman of West Bengal. No one had ever imagined in their wildest of dreams that she would win a Gold Medal on her return to sporting action after injuries to back and ankle kept her out of action for almost two years. Swapna Barman did not only win the Gold Medal, but also she has won the hearts of sports lovers all over the nation by displaying immense grit and commitment to the sports that she so dearly loves.
Panchanan Barman used to be a rickshaw puller before a massive stroke rendered him bedridden. Swapna’s father is as jubilant as everyone else in the village of Jalpaiguri and his only wish is to see his kid go and conquer the world. “I wish she becomes a world champion,” says her father who is proud of Swapna’s achievement despite the poverty and grave condition she has to go through. “We could never provide nutritious food as required by a sportswoman to our daughter” he adds. Through all the pains that the family is going through their only wish is that Swapna achieves something very big which will help the family come out of poverty and lead a normal life.
Swapna Barman who is the sole bread earner for the family is finding it hard to manage her family with the money that she earns at these kinds of events and hence has been forced to take part in the less important event just for the sake to earn extra money to support her family. The taking part in unimportant events has taken a toll on her body, and it has resulted in Swapna sustaining several injuries over time forming dark, gloomy clouds on the future of her sporting career.
Swapna still does not have a permanent job, the walls of her house at Jalpaiguri still does not have a concrete wall, and her father who was struck by a massive stroke has been bedridden for the past several years. Despite going through all this, Swapna won the hearts of Indians and sports lovers all over the world by scoring a whopping 5942 points which helped her secure the top position in the event.
Though she has not been promised a permanent job, her passion and unbelievable grit have made companies like ONGC come forward and help her with financial assistance, Go Sports Foundation also has promised to help her financially. Swapna who says financial assistance will be a good help, but only a permanent job will help her focus entirely on the sport that she dearly loves and only then will she be able to achieve her full potential.
It’s people like Swapna who inspire others and bring the best out of others through their achievements. This 21-year-old has given wings to her dreams by working extremely hard and displaying immense courage and determination to put back all her pains and concentrate solely on making her country, her state and her family proud by giving her best every single time she represents her country on the tracks. These events have become a source of joy to her fans, and they are pretty sure that she will achieve something extraordinary in her sporting career and leave her mark before she calls it quits.