Sunday, October 10, 2010


The phone call came as a sweet surprise. Deputy Magistrate cum Deputy Collector of Kharagpur was at the other end. "I saw the work that NSS, IIT Kharagpur is doing. I thought that I should ring you and tell that we very much appreciate these initiatives. I wish I could be there on NSS Day celebration (24th Sept.) but for the admin. work. However, I have gone through the links. You are doing great work." We conversed in Bengali and this is a poor translation and I must say I was overwhelmed by that Sunday morning call. All that I could say was to thank him and the district admin. for lending all support and that it is all teamwork.

Now to some more golden moments of last 24 hours.

This advertizement cam up in today's TOI, Kolkata Edition. I do not have any insider information of this organization. Apparently, they are doing well for the masses in healthcare. More important is the message that they want to send across which clear, distinct and loud. Appears that not only they have a heart of gold but they are the ones who do not believe in passive goodness.

Newspapers are bustling these days with the news of a golden girl, Deepika Kumari of Ranchi. Not cowed down by the hardship of an extended family mangaed by father, an auto-rickshaw
driver and mother, a nurse this tribal girl started practising archery only 3 years ago when she was spotted to accurately aim mango fruits in orchards. Besides the most recent Commonwealth Games Gold she won youth world archery championship last year.

Deepika's mother says that Deepika does not have a mobile phone which makes one distract. She is quite appreciative of the seniors in the Indian Archery team and she reaches her through these seniors. Good to see that more famous seniors like Dola Banerjee who received a bronze medal does not envy the younger team member and have taken up the
responsibility of nurturing the talent.

The other gold spot is the Tata Archery Academy who is training most of India's archery talents. It will be wonder if other corporate houses too look at other sports and nurture talent in a nation obsessed with cricket. Now few quotes from Deepika's parents, school teahers from various newspapers: (The Hindu, The Telegrap, Hindustan Times)

Ms. Mahato (Mother), was not too pleased with Deepika taking up archery. “She was the first in the extended family to play any sport. I never supported her decision at the beginning. But now things have changed I feel proud of her,” she said.

As a Class XI student, she has plenty of school work and Deepika never neglected that part of her life. She is an average student and does well in exams,” said Mr. Mahato.

She has the ability to concentrate for long and this has helped her,” her parents said.

Her parents don’t have to pay anything for her sport as she gets a monthly stipend of Rs. 6,000 from the Tata Archery Academy, which is enough for her they think.


In the crowd in front of the archer’s house was Nand Kishore Jha, the principal of the state-run APEG Residential School, Ratu, where Deepika had studied till Class VIII.

Deepika scored average marks. She would go unnoticed at school except for the times when she used to target mangoes on the campus. Her target was mostly on the mark. However, in case of misses, she would continue to target that elusive mango till she succeeded. I was impressed by her marksmanship,” Jha recalled.

Another teacher, Chotan Vishwakarma, recalled that Deepika was weak in math. “She passed matriculation in 2009 though she was away most of the time. That year, she clinched a gold medal at World Archery Youth Championship in Ogden and we were proud of her. We had to give her special coaching for two months before her exam,” he said.

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