Tajamul Islam, a seven-year old girl from Bandipore in J&K, has made history by qualifying for the World Kick-boxing Championship in Italy. The Kashmiri lass had defeated opponents almost twice her age enroute to the National sub-junior kickboxing gold medal last year at Delhi.
Tajamul appeared upbeat and up for a challenge. "You say I'm a small kid... But I can take on anybody. I am doing big things. I will make India proud, my Bandipore proud, my school, my academy, above all my parents proud, who have supported me," Tajamul was quoted as saying by NDTV.
However, she did reveal the child in her when she talked about her favorite biryani treat. “I felt so happy that I won and would be going to Italy. My mother, who was with me in Delhi, told me that is how you play and knock down your opponent. My father, whom I spoke to on phone, told me that I will get a treat once I reach home and I was treated with my favourite Biryani,” Tajamul said, reported PTI.
Tajamul comes from an under-privileged background – her father is a truck driver who also works in the construction sector. However, that has not deterred him from sending Tajamul, her two sisters and two brothers to the local academy for learning the martial arts.
Speaking about her initiation into the sport, the kid said, “I was walking near the stadium here when I saw many young boys and girls training. I saw them punching and all that and told my father that I want to join them and he let me,” reported PTI.
Tajamul's opponent in the National championship was 13 years old, but she got the better of her opponent by knocking her out in 15 minutes to clinch the crown.
“I was a little afraid when I saw her (opponent). But then I said to myself that age or body structure does not matter. I will remain focused and give my best shot,” Tajamul said.
Trainer at the academy Faisal Ali Dar also heaped praise on the girl saying, "I didn't believe my eyes when I saw her first two years ago. Her style, punch and the way she was playing, I found that she was different from other kids. Without any training she was doing great.. I said this child will go far ahead. I told her you stay with me and her father also cooperated," Faisal told NDTV.