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Suryakant Jena

Bhubaneswar: Jyotsnarani Jena, a budding Wushu athlete of Odisha dreams of scaling new heights in the elite Chinese martial arts but financial constraints have now made her look at an uncertain future.

Born and brought up in Badaada village under Oupada block of Balasore district, Jyotsnarani has earned several state-level and national level awards in Wushu competition.

Asked about her interest, Jyotsnarani says that she always had a weakness for sports from her childhood.

“When I moved to college, I enrolled myself to train under the mentorship of a Wushu coach at Betnoti centre in Baripada. After nearly three months of rigorous training I qualified for the national championships,” said Jyotsnarani.

As she prepares herself for international level tournament, her coach is also optimistic about her future prospects.

"When I first saw her, I felt that she would become a top martial artist. So I prepared her for national championships and she proved has herself. Now we are hopeful that with proper training she can also win laurels at international level," Jyotsnarani's coach Abinash Kumar Mohanty said.

While Jyotsnarani’s father sells ice-cream, her mother also contributes to the family by engaging herself as a cook at a local Anganwadi centre.

“We are not even able to save money apart from meeting our daily requirements so it has become difficult on our part to help Jyotsna build her career,” said her father adding that if the government can provide some financial assistance, it would help her move forward.

On the other hand, some charitable organisations and the district authority have come forward to help Jyotsnarani.

Rakesh Kumar Panda, Additional Collector of Balasore said, “It is a matter of great pride that girls like Jyotsnarani are coming forward to make everyone proud. I have talked with the District Sports Officer (DSO) and he has assured to promote her so that she can get the best of training.”

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