Heptathlete Swapna Barman, who won gold at the Asian Athletics Championships, has been told by her bedridden father Panchanan Barman to go conquer the world. The 20-year-old’s father was confined to bed since she was a kid.
“We could never provide nutritious food as required by a sportswoman to our daughter. I wish she becomes a world champion,” Panchanan told PTI. He used to be a rickshaw puller before a stroke rendered him bedridden.
Swapna required immediate medical attention after she collapsed after crossing the 800m race, the last of the seven events of heptathlon. Even though she finished fourth in that event, Swapna was declared the winner as she had already earned enough points to emerge as winner.
“We never imagined our daughter to go this far,” said Swapna’s mother Basana. “She is good at studies and sports…. I hope she goes further ahead…. I hope she gets a job.” said Basana, who has started doing odd jobs to make both ends meet. She earlier used to work in a tea estate.
Swapna, who comes from Jalpaiguri in North Bengal, has two brothers and a sister. The family celebrated Swapna’s win at AAC by bursting crackers.
Swapna’s school sports teacher Bishwajit Majumdar said that the entire school is proud of her and hoped that she wins a gold at the next Olympics as well. “Since 2006 I was her games teacher. The school is proud of her. I wish she wins an Olympic gold,” Majumdar said.