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The Faith In Boxing – Mary Kom Boxing Foundation

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Padma Bhushan winner Mary Kom hails from a small district of Churachandpur, Manipur. As a child, she spent time working in jhum fields as a child labourer. At a young age, she had to shoulder responsibilities after being the eldest of four siblings.

The love for sports only grew during her tough times. By the age of 18, Mary Kom defeated Jang Song-Ae (Kom’s opponent in World Women’s Boxing Championship) for her first gold medal. Her quality to graft and labour past the challenges in the ring mirrored in her attitude on and off the field.

As a girl child, in the Kom tribe, Mary faced harsh criticism from her father for being a boxer. But the victory of her idol, Dingko Singh who won gold at Asian Games in 1998 – made the quiet and reserved Kom realise her journey will include hard-work with sacrifice.

Growing up in a working-class district, made Mary Kom a resident of an unheard place, bring the name of her hometown to the forefront through tales of spontaneous genius acts. She set up the Mary Kom Boxing Foundation along with her husband Onkholer Kom in 2006. The decision came from deep-rooted need to give back to the state of Manipur which helped her grow from a child labourer to a world famous boxing champion. Moreover, a person who chooses to chase her dreams despite of all the condemnation.

The Mary Kom foundation focuses on children who are dedicatedly interested to  represent  the country in the field of boxing at the Olympic level. They nurture talent at  the grassroots  level and support all the interlinked needs. This year, about 100 young  athletes, especially  females are being trained. The players will be provided with training  utilities, education and  infrastructure support. They have been hand-picked and  possess high potential to represent  India on the international platform.

The foundation has been urging to share the importance of Corporate Social  Responsibility  towards promoting the Olympic Sports, especially for female athletes and  support the cause  of Women Empowerment in India.

With support from the Ministry of Sports, corporate houses such as DoNER, NEC,  ONGC etc,  the foundation continues to find solutions and solve problems in the current  scenario of  sports in India. The ‘Athlete Support’ program presents athletes with  standardised facilities  and an environment for training under coaches. At the same time,  helping the young boxers  form their physiological and psychological strengths.

Boxing is an individual sport, where one needs accolades to stay pertinent. Mary Kom  continues to play with her resilient spirit and churn out magic from her dedication and hard  work. The foundation helps enthusiastic athletes of tomorrow, to come an edge closer to  realities of the sport. They together are creating a future of velvet streaks, shared  responsibility and hard-work in Mary Kom.

Pictures courtesy: Mary Kom Boxing Foundation Facebook Page

 Ishita Singh is a graduate from Jesus and Mary College, New Delhi. She is extremely passionate about dancing, playing lawn  tennis  and was an active member of NCC. Currently working with The CSR Journal as a management trainee, she is an ardent  traveller,  animal lover and keen on pursuing journalism in order to contribute towards the betterment of society by actively  participating in social  causes.

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The CSR Journal Team