The Gold Spot

Budgam girl Zamaroda Bano fights poverty and other obstacles to win Gold at the recently-held National Level Kick Boxing Championship, Delhi.

Mir Tanveer

LOOK around Kashmir and inspirational stories will sprout about like tulips. Among many such inspirational stories is one about a girl from the Central Kashmir district of Budgam.
In Village Hazarpora Aripanthan, there lives a girl who has turned out to be a gold medalist at the recently held kickboxing championship in Delhi. This championship was held in the honour of former Chief of Army Staff General Bipin Rawath. In this competition, players from across the country participated under different categories.

Zamaroda Bano, this girl from the Kashmir Valley, is the gold medal winner in the senior category of kick-boxing competition. Hailing from a small village of Hazarpora Aripanthan, Zamaroda has under her belt, eight golds and two silvers till date. It’s not been an easy journey. She has faced a lot of difficulties while trying to achieve her dream of becoming a national champion. Talking to Kashmir Central, she reveals she always dreamt of becoming a police officer and an enthusiastic sports player in life. But due to economic constraints and her weak family background, many obstacles blocked her way towards her goal and the going was always tough. She carried out her education only up to Class 12
after which she had to leave due to a financial crunch. But she never lost hope in the positive and carried her passion forward as a sports player. She always reminded herself – “when your confidence and courage are with you, nothing can take away your goals”.

So, during her school days, she would work as a labourer during the walnut harvesting season to make ends meet for her family and to cover her personal needs. “However,” she adds, “In all these tough conditions, the Indian Army guided my sports career to new heights as they provided me all the guidance and support I needed. I am very thankful
to them for helping me”. In her childhood days, she would always discuss with her father, her dream of becoming a great sports player. And somehow, her father would always end up feeling bad as he could not possibly provide her the needed paraphernalia or facilities to
chase her dream. Her father is a specially-abled person. However Zamaroda Bano chose to request the district administration of Budgam and LG of the Union Territory, asking to be supported and sponsored in the journey ahead.

And indeed, the request worked and here she is. During an interaction, her brother Bhat Hameed said, “My sister has made our family proud and with this performance, she has proved her mettle in her sports career. This has inspired and encouraged all
of us since despite poor financial conditions, our sister chased her passion of achieving big in a sports career”. He hoped that the administrative machinery will provide her assistance in her journey ahead. Her father Ghulam Qadir says that now on, the most memorable moment of his life will be when he heard the news about his daughter winning Gold at
the National Level championship at Delhi. “My daughter has faced her challenges so bravely, without any fear. She has never put any kind of load on my shoulders”, he adds.
Meanwhile, while speaking to Kashmir Central, Zamaroda Bano says: “It is too tough and
challenging for sports players from poor families to survive in this field. Without government support,the poor but talented sports players won’t be able to go much far and their talent would be lost”. Zamaroda’s message to the society is that “we should provide our daughters a chance to showcase their talent in different fields. They should be encouraged in carrying their journey forward. I have had to face many trolls by the society being a Kashmiri girl. But I tolerated all that to reach my goal. When you dream of something great, poverty and other factors should not come in your way and you should keep your hopes high. My firm belief inmyself and my dream has helped me graduate from being a labourer to being a national champion. I hope to be able to carry forward this journey in future competitions too”.Amen to that!


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