Ajay Mandhra, a boy from Odisha’s Naxal-affected district Malkangiri won a gold medal in Kho Kho Tournament held in London. He beat England in the final of the first International Kho Kho tournament held in London from 1st to 4th September.
His happiness knew no boundaries as he spoke to news agency ANI and said that he felt good about winning the gold and wan more people from his village in this sport. He said, “It’s a very good feeling. I did a lot of hard work. My family is also very happy. I want more people from my village to do good in this sport.”
Ajay was also part of the Indian team which beat host England in the final. Beside Mandhra, Samiti Nathasharma also won the gold medal in the same tournament and was also a part of the women`s team.
Ajay hails from Odisha’s Bonda tribal community which is considered to be one of the most primitive tribes in the country. His parents work as daily wage laborers and Mandhra recollects how they extended continuous support and encouragement.
“It’s indeed a fantastic feeling that we went there, won gold and came back as champions. It’s indeed a great feeling. Apart from all the hard work I put is, it is family members who provided me every kind of support I need and they are very happy too,” a jubilant Ajay told ANI.