Swapna — living her father’s dream

Panchanan Barman has been bedridden ever since she was a child

Updated - July 11, 2017 09:49 pm IST

Published - July 11, 2017 09:48 pm IST - Jalpaiguri

Swapna Barman.

Swapna Barman.

Panchanan Barman, father of heptathlete Swapna Barman who won gold at the Asian Athletics Chamionships, is bedridden ever since she was a child.

But adversity has not robbed him of his dream. He wants his daughter Swapna, the promising athlete from Jalpaiguri in north Bengal, to conquer the world.

“We could never provide nutritious food as required by a sportswoman to our daughter. I wish she becomes a world champion,” Panchanan said in a choked voice.

The sole breadwinner of the family, Panchanan was a rickshaw puller but a stroke several years ago made him bedridden.

Swapna, now 20, saw her father confined to bed ever since she was a child.

“We never imagined our daughter will go this far,” Swapna’s mother Basana said, with tears rolling down her cheeks.

“She is good at studies and sports.... I hope she goes further.... I hope she gets a job,” said Basana, who used to work in a tea estate but now does odd jobs to run the family.

Basana used to cycle Swapna to a club for practice when she was young.

Swapna is the youngest of her two brothers and a sister.

Her brother Atish said, he was overjoyed at Swapna’s triumph at the Asian Athletics Championships and burst crackers to celebrate.

Swapna had collapsed just after crossing the 800m race, the last of the seven events of heptathlon, during the championship on July 9 and she required medical attention.

She finished fourth in that event but still clinched the gold as she had already taken a lead of enough points to emerge as the winner.

Till her higher secondary examination in 2014, Swapna studied in Kaliaganj Uttameshwar High School.

The school’s games teacher Bishwajit Majumdar is overjoyed at her success.

“Since 2006 I was her games teacher. \

“The school is proud of her. I wish she wins an Olympic gold,” Majumdar said.

Swapna now stays at the SAI camp in Kolkata.

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