Coming from an orthodox village that is far from urbanization, Champa Maurya has achieved the impossible. Recently, the rower clinched a silver medal in the Asian canoe slalom championship held in Thailand.

This young trailblazer, resident of a tribal-dominated village in Dhar district of Madhya Pradesh, rose against all odds to fulfill her dreams. Who would have thought a girl who used to walk at least 5 km to catch a bus from her backward village would one day bag a medal in an international platform?

The 24-year-old fought the challenges courageously and was selected to represent India at the 10th Asian Canoe Slalom championship, held in Thailand from February 24 to 26. She proved the saying that if someone aims to achieve a goal, no obstacle can come in the way. Champa had teamed up with Prince Parmar of Chhatarpur to win the silver medal.

She won the silver medal in the mixed doubles C-2 category. With her focused performance, Champa has found her true calling.

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Champa hails from Ibrahimpura village that comprises just 399 people. Most people of the nondescript village have not even seen a train in their life, and travelling alone is a huge thing for them. The nearest town Manawar is 35 km away.

In such circumstances, how Champa managed to arrive at the global stage is nothing but inspirational.

“It is amazing to see such players come out of MP. The best part for such girls is they have a mission in life and are always striving hard to achieve it,” sports minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia told TOI.

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Champa’s skill was dicovered seven years ago when the team went hunting for new talent and landed at her village. Finally, she got a chance to showcase what she was capable of doing.

“With the launch of the water sports academy, we wanted to give opportunity to youths who have potential, but live in remote areas. Champa is one of the best examples of such effort,” the minister said.

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Talking about Champa and her background, her coach Devendra Gupta said: “Almost a year ago, Champa came to me and asked me for leave. When I asked her why, she told me she had to go with her father as he had never travelled by train.”

He added, “Till then, her father did not go out of village and the railway station is 10 km from her village. Champa’s sheer dedication has made it possible for her to win the medal.”

Gupta was one of the coaches in a team that had selected Champa for the academy.

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Scindia said, “I have made it clear to officials that I want talent. It does not matter where players come from. Coaches followed it and results are there to see.”

Besides Champa, a girl from Panna district has managed to win a bronze medal in the U-23 age category in the same event.

Kudos to Champa!

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Feature Image Credit: The Tribune

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