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Manipuri Taekwondo player sells fruit salad to fund training

Manipuri Taekwondo player sells fruit salad to fund training

Abdul Gani

Published: 29 April 2019 8:40 AM GMT
Diana Ningombam doesn’t believe in asking people for favor. The Manipuri girl has represented the country in several international tournaments and also has won medals in the sport of Taekwondo. But for the preparation for the events coming up, she is not someone to go to the government seeking help. So, she started to sell fruit salads in the morning hours to gather some money which would help her in her preparation, roadside in Imphal. It has been almost 10 days that she has been doing this work earning around INR 300 to INR 400 a day till she was spotted by a passer by who posted her photo on the Facebook. Soon it went viral catching attention from all quarters.
“I wanted to set an example that we shouldn’t be dependent on others for our jobs. All of us can do the work and earn the money whenever we need. Though I’m a player, I think I too can do the same. That’s the reason why I started to sell fruit salads,”
Diana who won several national and international medals told The Bridge. Diana can be seen selling fruit salad in Imphal, Manipur. (Photo: Thompson Lairenmayum) She, however, says if finance was not an issue, she could have participated in more tournaments and also in a better way. “Money matters a lot. Starting from your diet to kit, and then the travel expenses, money is important. Then I also need to take care of my knee which got injured. It will be great if people and also the government extend their helping hand."
"I’m overwhelmed to see the response of people on social media and also in person. People have been encouraging me a lot. This kind of support should be for all kind of needy individuals who want to make the country proud,” added the 21-year old Diana who last won gold in a Taekwondo championship held in Guwahati in March this year. There are several upcoming tournaments including one in Hong Kong. In 2014, Diana injured her knee and almost gave up playing Taekwondo but after a gap of three years, she returned to the Taekwondo mat. In 2018, she won silver at Kukkiwon in South Korea. She has won around 15 medals at the national level.
Diana in front of the national and international medals she has won so far. Hailing from Sagolband Loukrakpam leikai, Imphal, Diana is the third among four daughters of Ibungo Yaima and Ningombam Nalini. She started training in 2006 before getting into SAI Imphal in 2009. It was not easy for her father Ibungo Yaima who runs a car repairing centre to run the family. “Papa has always been helpful and he supported the family. We are four daughters. So, you know, it’s little difficult for him (our father) to run the family. But I don’t want to be a burden, so I came out to sell fruit salads. And I will continue to do this. This can be an example. Even medical students can do this to buy their books instead of depending on their parents,” she said.
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