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Jalpaiguri girl Swapna Barman had created history by winning a gold medal in the heptathlon at the 2018 Asian Games in Jakarta-Palembang. Swapna had to fight all odds, including poverty as her father who was a rickshaw puller had to stay indoors after suffering a massive stroke while her mother worked as a labourer in small tea gardens, to achieve this mark. A video of her mother watching her on TV during her performance at the 2018 Asian Games. In the video that is doing rounds on the internet, Swapna’s mother can be seen getting emotional as she watched her performance at her home with family.
Cricketer Virender Sehwag also shared the emotional video on his official Twitter and said, “Have become an even bigger admirer of Swapna Barman after coming to know of the struggles she had to go through. 6 toes in each leg, bandaged jaw, father a rickshaw puller and countless struggles. This is her mother watching her win the Gold on television, thanking the almighty.”
Swapna Barman by birth has 6 toes on each foot, so training without the shoes was the only option she had. She even had no money to buy proper shoes for training.
West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee has announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakh and a government job for Jalpaiguri girl Swapna Barman. On Twitter, she wrote, “Heartiest congratulations to Swapna Barman, our heptathlon queen from India and Bangla, on winning the gold at the Asian Games. You have made us very proud.”