IMPHAL | Apr 28
An international Taekwondo player from the State has been selling fruit salads on the roads near Kangla for the past one week in the struggle to continue her career in sports.
Hailing from Sagolband Loukrakpam leikai, the third daughter of Ibungo yaima and Ningombam Nalini, Ningombam Diana’s story went viral after a few individuals spread her story in social media.
Diana started learning taekwondo from the year 2006 and had taken part in international events. Now she sells fruit salads daily from 4 am 7 am in the morning near the footpath beside the main entrance of Kangla. She wakes up around 3 am in the morning for making preparations for her small business of selling the items.
When this reporter of IFP interviewed Diana, she expressed that she continues her practice session from 4 pm to 7 pm in the evening at Langjing Achouba Makha leikai. She is preparing for an upcoming tournament which will be held in Hongkong, she said.
She informed that she does not want to give extra burden to her father who works as a printing machine mechanic and not very healthy and her mother who works at bazaar in trying make ends meet. Diana said that there are times when her parents could not meet the expenditure for her diet and other essentials. By selling fruit salads on the roadside, she also wants to spread the message of self-employment to the youths of the state instead of solely depending on their families, said Diana.
Saying that she receives around 300 to 400 rupees as profit daily from her small business, Diana also said that many people who saw the post about her on social media come to see her working and encouraged her on her hard work. There are also pedestrians who approached her simply out of curiosity to know why she took up the job of selling fruit salad on the roadside and that is how they came to know about her story, she added.
Diana said, “Almost all of my customers encourage me, there are also some who give me more than the actual price of the salad as an act of encouragement and support.”
While talking about her sporting career, Diana said, “When I first stepped into sports, we required money to buy only sports tracksuits but players now have to manage their own transportation fees which is really hard for players belonging from poor family backgrounds.”
She had bagged different medals in the State, national and international events.
A group of women who came to meet Diana in the morning today while speaking to IFP expressed that they came to know of her story through social media. One of the lady said, “We came to encourage and extend financial support to Diana.”
~IFPTags: Ningombam Diana