From Riches To Rags And Back: The Story Of A National Level Archer

Scroll Cafe Team

What disrupts us emotionally is an unfulfilled expectations of how things are supposed to be. Have you ever thought about a vendor on some highway that he may have some sort of talent the country needs? Probably, not. No one does.

But while travelling through the National Highway 31 in Assam’s Samthaibari region, you could have thought this about Buli Basumatary, a Bodo tribal woman and SAI-trained national level archer who was selling oranges a week ago to support her family.

Buli, a Chirang district native of the Assam state considers her medals as her biggest assets. She was trained at the Sports Authority of India and went on to win two gold medals and one silver medal in the National Sub Junior Archery Championship. She even won a gold in the senior championship.


Buli had to abandon practice for a long time after she suffered an injury in 2010. She could never get back to the game as her family did not have the means to support the cost of an expensive sport like archery.

After marrying a labourer and having two kids, life became even more difficult for her but she never stopped to dream. She believed that her medals would bring her a government job someday. She also mentioned how she had been denied a job in Assam Police. "I have been selling oranges for three years now. I have won many medals and had applied for a job in Assam Police but didn't get it," she told ANI. This clearly shows the neglect sportspersons face from the government as far as financial support is concerned.

Buli is now back to her first love teaching students the intricate details of archery. She has now been appointed as the Archery coach at Saruhojai. On February 8th, she met the honourable sports minister of Assam, Naba Kumar Doley in Guwahati who helped her out of her miserable plight. "I have given her the word and her appointment letter will be with her next week," Doley said.

While travelling by bus to her home at Samtheibari in Chirang district, she said to TOI, "I am feeling very happy to be back to what I love most (archery). The minister has offered the coach's job. I don't have to sell oranges any longer".

Mother of two young girls aged four and two years, Buli believes that her career makeover as a coach can help her make her daughters a more renowned archer than herself. "I would definitely want both my daughters, Foustina and Hanna, to take up this sport and I am going to train them," she said to TOI.

The 28 year old is really positive about her new life as the archery trainer where she will get a good pay and a respect she truely deserves for the feats she has achieved in her career as a player. All credits to media for bringing Buli and her story into the limelight and saving another sportsperson from dying a pathetic death.

[Images via the quint]