Upasha Niku Talukdar is a 10-year-old from Guwahati, Assam who recently won two gold medals and a silver at a national school event. The interesting part, however, is that she wasn’t trained under the tutelage of a guru. She sought help from YouTube videos to learn rhythmic gymnastics.
How did it start for Upasha?
Upasha used to watch videos of Olympians like Ukrainians Anna Bessonova, Ekaterina Serebrianskaya and Tamara Yerofieieva and Russians Irina Tchachina, Yevgeniya Kanayeva and Alina Kabaeva.
Nikunja Talukdara, her father told the Hindustan Times, “She has always been flexible, twisting and turning and dancing to music. The day I saw her scratching her ear with her toes because her hands were occupied with homework, I decided she was cut out for gymnastics” He runs a small pharmacy in the city.
“I knew nothing about gymnastics except that the Russians are very good at it. The two of us then Googled and found many videos on rhythmic gymnastics on YouTube.”
Upasha worked day and night copying their moves, postures, the rolls and the stretches, the leaps, everything. She watched closely as the gymnasts worked with balls, clubs and hoops. She also began improvising.
At the CBSE National Gymnastics held in Radaur, Haryana from November 8-12, Upasha won the best gymnast while the other gold came into the ball routine. The silver was for her clubs routine.
Upasha expressed her desire to represent India in the Olympics and win a medal in rhythmic gymnastics.
Her father also told HT that he has networked to get through to a Russian trainer named Marina. The communication takes place through Skype. Impressed by Upasha, she offered to train her but for that she will have to go to Russia.
He admitted that he earns around Rs 50,000 a month and it is difficult for him to organise the resources.
Upasha’s story is a glaring example of how technology can be used to succeed and win laurels for the country. We wish her luck for her future matches and hope the family gets the required funds for her training.
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