Buli Basumatary, once a national-level gold medallist archer, now sells oranges on the roadside for a living.

The Assam archer, who has won a gold medal and a silver medal in the National Junior Archery Championship, has been selling oranges for more than three years now.

Forced by poverty and an injury, Bali had to leave the sport as her parents could not do much to save her career. Later, she recovered and was married off in 2010. Soon, she became the mother of two and could not go back to the game.

“I have been selling oranges since three years now; have won many medals; I applied for a job in Assam police but didn’t get it. We were also miserably poor and could not afford the equipment. A bow alone would cost about Rs 2.5 lakh,” Archer Buli Basumatary said.

Buli’s husband is a labourer and to support the family, she started selling oranges on the highway.

“About four years ago, I decided to put together a small amount and started selling oranges on the roadside at NH-31. I would make Rs 150 to Rs 200 daily and it was helpful, but never quite enough,” she said.

According to a report by TOI, Buli has been offered a job as archery coach by the state’s sports minister.

 “We’ll appoint Buli Basumatary as archery coach next week; later, will give short-term training in Punjab-Pallab Lochan Das, Assam Sports Minister Naba Kumar Doley said.

The 28-year-old archer from Chirang district in Assam says she is hopeful that she will get the job, with the support from Assam government.