Oma Rabha a name that could someday be recognized internationally is today struggling. Running from pillar to posts, trying to get funds so that she can participate in the upcoming International Martial Arts tournament, set to be held in Thailand from March 8th to March 17th. Her pleas and request for funds, have so far not yielded any results.
We are hoping to change that.
Oma belongs to the indigenous Rabha tribe, who are spread across Alipurduar and Jalpaiguri districts. A class 10 student of North Lothabari Hindi School, Oma lives in Rabha Busty under the Kalchini block. Her talent was picked up early by a local Kung Fu Coach Rajwari from Satali Busty, who has been training her since long. Under his tutelage, Oma has won numerous Gold medals in local, regional and even national events. She is confident that, if she gets an opportunity to contest in Thailand, she will be able to bring gold for our nation.
Tragically, her parents who earn their livelihood by farming and working as daily wage labourers are in no position to sponsor her trip to Thailand.
Speaking to us, a local social worker Dari Rabha says, “it’s a great honour for our community and region that one of our daughters has been selected to represent our nation at an international tournament, but we all belong to a very marginalized region, and unless the Government or non-Governmental organizations intervene in her favour, it will be almost impossible for her to compete.”
Her coach Rajwari says, “it would cost 1.5 to 2 lakhs to go and compete in Thailand, and though her parents are not in a position to sponsor her, I don’t see why all of us can’t come together and pool in resources and help one of our daughters shine at the international stage. I am confident, if she gets to compete she will bring laurel for our nation.”
In the meanwhile, Oma is working through piles of applications to be sent out to government officials requesting funds.
Recently we have seen politicians of all hue and colours line up to felicitate Swapna Barman from our region, after she won Gold in the Asian Games. We hope the same politicians will have the fortitude to sponsor Oma Rabha and other athletes like her when they are struggling, instead of basking in their reflected glory at a later date.
Those who want to donate to her, here are her details
Name: Oma Rava
Address: Nimtai Forest Basti, Latabari,
Dist: Alipurduar, Pin: 735217
Bank: State Bank of India
Account Number: 32339703853
IFSC Code: SBIN0001554
[Writes: Pradip Lama]