While Malakangiri in Odisha is known for the Naxal activities, but this time it was different. Recently, a boy from the same areas bagged a gold medal for India in the first Kho Kho tournament.
Ajay Mandhra participated in the event which was held in the United Kingdom from September 1 to 4 and made the country proud. He was also a part of the Indian side that defeated hosts England in the finals. ‘It’s indeed a fantastic feeling that we went there, won gold and came back as champions. It’s indeed a great feeling,” he said.
Mandhra belongs to Bonda tribal community which is known to be one of the most primitive tribes in the country. Financial constraints were part of the family as his parents work as daily wage laborers. While talking to ANI, he mentioned that how his parents were a constant support throughout and encouraged him to do well. Adding to this Ajay said, “I want more youngsters from our tribe to make the nation proud.”
According to the report, Biju Janata Dal (BJD), Member of Parliament and founder of Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences (KISS) Achyuta Samanta said, “There are a lot of talents especially in Odisha, particularly among the tribal boys and girls in the state. These children need to be trained and nurtured well. We are doing the same in giving these youngsters a platform through KISS which provides free education to the tribal children. We have always treated sports with utmost importance.”
Kalandi Charan Rout, who is Ajay’s coach said to ANI that he is looking forward in providing the teen with all the special training to make him ready for the upcoming Kho Kho World Championships.
“Ajay is immensely talented. We will provide him with every kind of special training to make him ready for the upcoming Kho Kho World Championships. Kho Kho is a traditional game in this country, we have to unearth more such talents so that they can make the country proud just like Ajay. We will leave no stone unturned,” Rout added.
Further, Samiti Nathasharma, who was also a part of the women’s team has also won the gold medal in the same tournament.