Mirabai Chanu truck drivers story: When weightlifting star Olympian Saikhom Mirabai Chanu made her return home after an outstanding silver win in Tokyo, she brought with her a whole lot of recognition for the simpler things in life – time spent with family, love for ghar ka khaana, and now, the importance of repaying kindness.
A week ago, it was reported that the 26-year-old sports champion is in search of truck drivers who ferried her across Imphal, Manipur during the months she was hard at training. From her home in the village of Nongpok Kakching to the Khuman Lampak sports centre, these drivers with their sand-laden trucks would offer her free rides back and forth, easing the family’s financial spendings in a major way.
Now, it appears Chanu has tracked down those Good Samaritans and felicitated them for their selfless help that finds an indispensable place in her journey towards her big silver clinch at the Olympics.
Olympiad @mirabai_chanu home was more than 25 km from the Sport Academy. No means of transport during those days, except trucks which carried river sands to the City. These truck drivers gave her lift everyday. Today she rewarded these truck drivers. pic.twitter.com/9WegUkwjkz
— Naorem Mohen (@laimacha) August 5, 2021
Mirabai Chanu Truck Drivers Story Reiterates Kindness Comes Full Circle
Chanu’s road to Olympic success has been far from smooth. In her small village tucked away in Manipur, Chanu during her childhood assisted her parents in keeping their humble household up and about. She used to visit the forests nearby with her brother to collect firewood. Able to lift more with greater ease than her brother, it was here her weightlifting prowess was recognised. Read Chanu’s story here.
Her brother Sanatomba Meitei revealed post her Olympic win that the nearest training centre was 20-30 kms away from their home and their parents had no more than around ten rupees to spare for the journey.
To save up on the costs, they arranged for her to hitch rides to and from her coaching centre atop sand trucks. “She never complained about it. She would go alone every day and was very hard-working,” her brother told the Olympics channel.
In interviews, Chanu said she was seeking those truck drivers out to “seek their blessing” for all the help they offered her. Reports suggest she has done that now, reiterating the power of recognising the small kindnesses that make up our lives along the way.