Achinta Sheuli's mother preserves her son's CWG gold medal upon return
In their two-room home in Deulpur, Howrah district, Achinta Sheuli's mother hid his awards and medals wrapped in a half-torn saree under the lone bed. When Achinta arrived home after his exploits at the Commonwealth Games, where he won a gold medal, she placed them on a little stool.
Purnima Sheuli, who appears content, has asked her younger son to buy a cabinet to display the awards and medals he has so far acquired. "I knew that reporters and photographers would be coming to our house when Achinta came back. So, I kept the medals and trophies on a stool so that they could understand how talented Achinta is. I never dreamt that he would win gold for the country," Purnima Sheuli told PTI.
She recalls how difficult it was for her to raise her boys Alok and Achinta after her spouse Jagat Sheuli passed away. Sunstroke caused his death in 2013. "Today, I believe God has started showering blessings on us. The number of people who gathered in front of our house shows that times have changed. Nobody will be able to realise how tough it was for me to bring up my two sons.”
"I could not even provide them with their meals every day. There were days when they fell asleep without eating. I don't know how to express myself and what to say," she said.
She recounted that in addition to zari labour on sarees at a nearby manufacturing facility, both Achinta and his older brother Alok, a weightlifter, had to unload and load cargo. "I had no other option than sending my sons to work. Or it would have been difficult for us to survive," she recalled how despite all difficulties, Alok and Achinta persisted to exercise weights.
The 20-year-old weightlifter credited his mother and instructor Astam Das with helping him reach his goal while recalling the depravity of his youth and the struggle he experienced. "It feels great returning home after doing a good job. All that I have achieved today is because of my mother and my coach Astam Das. Both have played important roles in my life and whatever I am now is because of these two persons," Achinta Sheuli told PTI from New Delhi.
Early on Wednesday morning, the weightlifter departed for the capital to attend a meeting there. However, the young sportsman thinks that only some extra funding from the government will help the family get through their difficult time. He is thrilled to have seen so many people waiting outside his home to receive him on Monday night.
"Life has never been that easy for me and my family. We had to earn every single bread we ate after my father's death. Now, although we two brothers have started earning, I think it is not enough to help solve our financial condition if only the government can kindly look into our problem and help us," he told PTI from New Delhi.
When approached, his coach Astam Das offered all credit to Achinta for giving honour to the nation. According to Das, Achinta's perseverance and "never give up" mantra were key factors in his CWG gold medal victory. "He is like my son. He is different from others I have trained. I have never seen him give up easily and that is what helped him realise his goal despite fighting all odds. I believe this win at the CWG will take him further in life," the coach said.