Bhopal, Feb 2 (IANS): Boxer Raat Rani from Bihar, who has come to Madhya Pradesh for the first time to participate in the Khelo India Youth Games (KIYG), has struggled to keep the fire for boxing alive within her. It is this aspect of her that makes her one of the best examples of the truest essence of the KIYG.
The presence of a light flyweight boxer from Bihar's Munger, speaks volumes about the success of events like the KIYG, where players from the grassroots level are given a chance to showcase their talent.
On the other hand, what can be considered one of the finest examples of grassroots talent - the platform has been a dream come true for Rani, who aspires to one day become a world champion like MC Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen.
Rani, a resident of Hasanganj, a small village in Munger, Bihar, has covered the journey to SAI Regional Centre facing many difficulties. The boxer, who turned 18 on February 2, is the sixth of seven children of a farmer who barely manages to make ends meet for her family. But these troubles did not stop her from dreaming.
Practising on the roof of a rented house in Hasanganj under the supervision of her brother's friend, Rani said, "I am the only girl to play Khelo India Youth Games from Munger. It is a matter of pride for me. I have also played Youth Nationals (in Chennai). I am happy with what I have achieved in the last year and a half, but it is not in everyone's capacity to bear the difficulties I have faced to achieve so much."
Rani, who defeated a boxer from Sikkim in the second round after getting a first-round bye in her weight category, said she used to practice on the terrace with her brother's friend bare feet and with very cheap gloves.
"For me, the journey to a platform like Khelo India Youth Games is like a dream come true. After coming here, I realized how big the world is and how hard I have to work. I am not afraid of hard work and that is why I stuck to this game despite all the difficulties," she said.
Rani added that she is happy with her achievements but not satisfied as her dream is to follow the path of Mary Kom and Nikhat Zareen and earn her name in the country and abroad.
She said: "I am proud to be the daughter of Bihar. Whatever I have achieved so far has given me fame in my district but I want to go beyond and win medals for the state and country and the Khelo India platform will be a milestone in my journey."