Gohela Boro, a much celebrated talent in Assam as well as in the country’s archery world, is today battling for life. In November 2016, the promising young archer had been diagnosed with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus (SLE) and ANCA (Anti Neutrophil Cytoplasmic Antibodies and this rare condition had left her bedridden. She was being treated at Guwahati Medical College (ITU) but was later in January 2017 advised to consult doctors at AIIMS, Delhi or Apollo, Chennai. However her father, a daily wage labourer and her mother, a peasant could not afford the required treatment and since then she had been simply lying on bed, deteriorating her condition even more.
Media has once again rallied around to save the life of a dying young pride of the nation. Media’s efforts have made appropriate authorities take notice of Gohela Boro’s case. She has finally been shifted to AIIMS, Delhi for further treatment. Assam Forest Minister Pramila Rani Brahma, MLA Rabiram Narzary and BTC executive member Rajib Brahma have promised to extend all kinds of support required for Gohela’s medical treatment. ‘We are ready to extend helping hand for ailing Gohela Boro and provide whatever is required for her medical treatment at this moment’, Brahma said to the Assam Times. Rabiram Narzary has also said that he will discuss about Boro’s treatment with CM Sarbananda Sonowal and Sports Minister Naba Kumar Doley. Silchar MP Susmita Dev has urged upon the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs, Government of India to extend immediate assistance to Gohela Boro.
Gohela started her sporting career in 2008 with the Sports Authority of India (SAI), Kokhrajar. She has represented Assam and the country in various District, State and National level archery competitions winning a total of 72 medals! Her most recent achievement was a gold medal at the 2015 National Games held in Kerala. She had also put on a splendid performance at the 60th National School Games held in Guwahati, 2015 wherein she secured four golds – three in individual events and one in a team event. She was also selected to represent India internationally but could not grab the opportunity because of her illness.
Why is it that every now and then we keep hearing stories about sportspersons being neglected when they need our support the most? The sorry state of athletes in India is really heart wrenching. Parts of Gohela’s body have started to decay. She has already lost her left toe and a few fingers. Had the respective authorities paid heed to Boro’s situation during the early stages, all of this could have been prevented. Gohela had the potential of being an international success. India could have seen a bright new star in her. But now, will the national champion be able to hold her bow and aim again?
We can only hope and pray that Gohela recovers soon and makes her way back to archery. We hope she gets another chance to pursue her dreams. And we also hope that with time the athletes in our country get their due respect and status.