Deepika Kumari father drives mini tempo in Ranchi village: Star Indian archer Deepika Kumari is trying her best to keep up the form at the ongoing Olympics. On Saturday, she registered her name with fellow archer Pravin Jadhav in the quarter-finals of the Mixed Archery Event. However, most people don’t know that the father of the athlete, who is the only Indian woman archer to represent India at the Tokyo Olympics, is still driving his mini tempo in a village 15 km away from the capital city of Jharkhand, Ranchi, to make ends meet.
Kumari’s father, Shivnarayan Mahato has never stopped driving his mini tempo and continues to run his house with the wage he earns from it. “No work is big or small,” the archer’s father said, adding that the temposhe runs has a huge role in his daughter’s journey. “I will continue with this occupation. My children also encourage me,” he added.
Kumari went to Tokyo as a world no 1 after reclaiming the position in the global rankings and following her hat-trick of gold medals at the World Cup Stage 3 last month. She assured an Olympics quota back in 2019. On Friday, at the opening game, she was placed ninth with a score of 663 in the ranking round of 72 arrows in the individual round. The Olympics has weighed her down this time as her wealth of experience did not really help.
Her family, still struggling financially everyday, is proud of Kumari’s achievements, nonetheless. “We are very proud of our daughter and son-in-law (Atanu Das),” said her mother Geeta Mahato, who worked as a nurse at Ranchi Medical College. She extended her wishes and said hoping that both Kumari and Das would clinch gold for the country. Read more on her family’s struggles here.
"We are very proud of our daughter and son-in-law. Both of them are competing in their respective categories. Hoping that they would clinch gold for the country," said her mother Geeta Mahato (23.07)
Deepika is currently competing at the ongoing Tokyo Olympics in Japan. pic.twitter.com/nWeV4Wq4dj
— ANI (@ANI) July 23, 2021
Kumari grew up in a village named Ram Chatti and she left home at the age of 12 to join an archery academy. Read how archery happened for Deepika Kumari here
Today, Kumari’s decade long career in top-level archery looks like this: 32 medals combined at the World Cup stages and finals, five World Championships medals, six Asian Championship medals, a bronze at Asian Games and two gold medals at the Commonwealth Games. She has so far competed in two Olympics – the 2012 Games in London and the 2016 Games in Rio de Janeiro.
The country’s top-ranked woman archer, Kumari will now be aiming to bury the disappointments from London and Rio Olympics. Coming from a humble background, the rickshaw driver’s daughter remains to be the ace archer from Jharkhand, and is a big bet for bringing home a medal this year. She also got married to fellow archer Atanu Das in Ranchi last year.
Feature Image Credit: ANI