She lives with her mother and two siblings in a one-room house in Jalandhar, Punjab. Her mornings start with a daily practice with her brother and a running schedule to keep her fitness in check. Her single mother, Sonia, works as a domestic help to support the family. Their father, who is a rickshaw driver no longer stays with them. Life is not easy for this family. But never did the poor financial conditions or any other issues discourage the ambition and dedication of this little champion.
Meet 12-year old Sharmila, the bronze medallist in Judo in the Khelo India national-level competitions held in Jaipur. She participated in the 23 kg, under-14 category of the national championship which was organised by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports. An ecstatic Sharmila told The Hindustan Times, “I will never leave judo in my life, isse bhi zyada medals jeet kar mamma ko khush karna hai (I have to win many more medals to bring Mamma joy)”. Despite all the hardships, Sharmila’s mother has been very supportive. She said in an emotional interview, “Bohot mushkil zindagi hai humari. Bohot kam kamati hoon, inki padhayi aur khane ke liye mehnat karti hoon. Sharmila ki iss jeet ne meri zindagi mein bohot khushi di hai (We live a very difficult life. I earn very less. But I strive hard to earn for food and education of my children. Sharmila’s recent victory has made me very happy)”.
This event also gave Sharmila an opportunity to travel to a place outside her own city for the first time. And it seems she has loved every bit of it. “I saw Hawa Mahal and Rani Mahal and ate a lot of Rajasthani food. I made many friends and enjoyed every day of my half week stay there,” she said.
One’s greatest strength is the willingness to learn and no matter what, never stop learning. When you are determined nothing can stop you from achieving what you desire. Willingness conquers difficulties and success is bound to be yours. And Sharmila’s victory has proved this right. Sharmila, we wish you all the best and we hope that you continue mastering Judo and earn many more achievements in the future!