Naxal activities have been affecting the state of Odisha and Jharkhand but it could not affect a young boy's spirit to win a gold medal for the country. Ajay Mandhra, a boy from Odisha's Malkangiri district won a gold in Kho Kho Tournament held in London.
Mandhra beat England in the final of the first International Kho Kho tournament held in London from 1st to 4th September.
His happiness knew no boundaries as he spoke to news agency ANI and said that he felt good about winning the gold and wan more people from his village in this sport. He said, "It's a very good feeling. I did a lot of hard work. My family is also very happy. I want more people from my village to do good in this sport."
Mandhra was also part of the Indian team which beat host England in the final. Beside Mandhra, Samiti Nathasharma also won the gold medal in the same tournament and was also a part of the women`s team.`It`s indeed a fantastic feeling that we went there, won gold and came back as champions. It`s indeed a great feeling," a jubilant Ajay told ANI.
Ajay hails from Odisha's Bonda tribal community which is considered to be one of the most primitive tribes in the country. His parents work as daily wage laborers and Mandhra recollects how they extended continuous support and encouragement.
"Apart from all the hard work I put is, it is family members who provided me every kind of support I need and they are very happy too," he added.
Speaking on Ajay`s sensational feat, 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."
Ajay`s coach Kalandi Charan Rout, meanwhile, told ANI that they are looking forward to provide the teen with all the special training required 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," he said.
(With Agency Inputs)