New Delhi: “I am living a dream,” said Hima Das Friday as she tried to put in words her remarkable journey from being a stubborn footballer in a nondescript Assam village to becoming the first Indian woman World Champion in athletics.
The 18-year-old Hima, daughter of farmer parents has become the toast of the nation after she won a gold medal Friday at the IAAF World U-20 Athletics Championships in Finland. Her father Ronjit Das has a two bigha (0.4 acres) plot of land and her mother Jonali is a housewife. The small piece of land is the only source of income for a family of six.
“I know my family’s condition and how we struggled. But the Almighty has something for everybody. I am a positive person and I want to look ahead in life and do something for my parents and for the country,” Hima told this agency from Tampere. “But it has been like a dream so far. I am now a world junior champion,” she added.
Her father talked about the stubborn streak which his daughter has. “She is very stubborn, if she wants to do something she will not listen to anybody but she will do it with aplomb. She is a strong girl and that is why she has achieved the feat. I hope she will continue to make India proud,” her father Ronjit said.
I don’t have any targets of winning a medal at the Olympics or the Asian Games. I just want to run faster
“Physically also, she is very strong. She can kick football like any of us. I told her not to play football with the boys but she did not listen to us,” her cousin Joy Das said.
It is a tough life for her parents given the meagre income but at this moment, they can’t stop celebrating. Hima, though, is not thinking too far ahead about the Asian Games or the Olympics. She just wants to just run faster.
“I don’t go out on the track thinking that I will win a medal. What I think is about running faster and faster and I believe that will translate into medals,” Hima stated.
“I don’t have any target as of now, like I will win a medal in Asian Games or Olympics. I am just happy that I am doing something, bringing laurels to the country,” added the youngster.
Her path to fame started since she was spotted by her coach Nipon Das who persuaded her to shift to Guwahati.
The rest as they say is history.