Odisha’s Woman Wheelchair Fencing Player Seeks Help To Take Part In International Competition

Bhadrak: Undeterred by financial and physical constraints, polio-afflicted Madhusmita Sahu from Odisha’s Bhadrak has carved a special identify at the national level due to perseverance and determination.

Stung by polio when she was just five-month-old, wheelchair-bound Madhusmita has traversed an arduous path, having put a halt to her studies after matriculation. However, her undaunted effort and hard work won her name and fame.

Making a foray into a new area in 2019, Madhusmita not only became a wheelchair fencer but gained expertise in the game. She took part in the national-level wheelchair fencing competition held at Karnal in Haryana last month and won gold and silver medals in two categories.

Stating that she has qualified to participate in international events, Madhusmita said financial constraints are coming in the way as she has to procure expensive equipment.

Madhusmita, who hails from Rameshwarpur village under Dhamnagar block in Bhadrak district, has never given up, and now she is keen to take part in an international wheelchair fencing competition to be held in Thailand.

However, she needs to undergo special training and procure some equipment worth lakhs of rupees before proceeding for the international event.

Her father Bhagabat Sahu said that the family members are worried. They do not know how to arrange such a huge amount to enable Madhusmita to participate in the event in Thailand.

Stating that the only government help she is receiving is the disability pension and PDS rice, he urged the state government and other agencies to extend financial assistance.

Meanwhile, Dhamnagar MLA Suryavanshi Suraj has provided some equipment for Madhusmita and said he will take up the matter with the government and the authorities concerned for assistance. “Madhusmita has made Odisha proud with her achievement and all should now help her in her future endeavours,” he said.

Madhusmita’s father, who happens to be a potter, earns a paltry amount by making earthen pots, said a villager, urging the government and other organisations to extend financial support to enable her to participate in the international-level competition.

Giving credit to international player and coach Rakhal Kumar Sethi for her success, Madhusmita aims to make a name for India with an impressive performance at the international wheelchair fencing championship in Thailand. She is also hopeful of getting financial assistance from different quarters to enable her to achieve the goal.

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