17-year-old Bimla Munda was flying high on ambition when she bagged a silver medal at the 34th National Games in 2011. Three years later, she improved her performance with two gold medals at the Akshay Kumar International Karate Championship.
In 2015, the Ranchi-born athlete notched up a gold medal at the All India Karate Open Championship. Last year, she ran away with another gold at the Federation Cup organised by All India Karate-Do Federation.
In a bid to support her family, the Jharkhand karate champion had also started coaching classes to train budding karatekas in February this year. But, the global pandemic, which led to lockdown regulations, handed a critical blow to Bimla as her coaching classes, her only source of income, got shut in March.
“I have been living with my grandfather since childhood. My grandfather retired before 2000 when Jharkhand was not separated from Bihar. He gets pension around Rs 6,000 a month but most of his pension amount goes into his medicine,” she quotes.
She might have been down, but definitely not out. It’s the same grit and perseverance, which often helped Bimla in overcoming her opponent, that has allowed her to survive these tough times.