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Once a National Level Archer, Now a Roadside Fruit Seller  

The Forgotten Sportswoman of Assam

Published
Sports
2 min read

Travelling through the National Highway 31 in Assam’s Samthaibari region, you may never notice Buli Basumatary selling oranges on the roadside. But you probably should. Once a national level archer, circumstances have brought her to the road.

Archer Buli Basumatary now sells oranges on NH-31 (Photo: <b>The Quint</b> / Anjana Dutta)
Archer Buli Basumatary now sells oranges on NH-31 (Photo: The Quint / Anjana Dutta)

Buli is from Chirang district in Assam. Even today, her medals are her biggest assets. She was trained at the Sports Authority of India and went on to win two gold medals and one silver medal in the National Sub Junior Archery Championship.

Buli then bagged a gold medal and a silver medal in the National Junior Archery Championship. Her moment of glory was a gold in the 50 metre event at the National Senior Archery Championship.

Today, she believes that these medals will eventually open doors to a better life.

Buli holds on to her medals in the hope that they can get her a government job (Photo: <b>The Quint </b>/ Anjana Dutta)
Buli holds on to her medals in the hope that they can get her a government job (Photo: The Quint / Anjana Dutta)

In 2010, Buli had to abandon practice for a long time after she suffered an injury. She could never get back to the game as her family did not have the means to support the cost of an expensive sport like archery. Even a basic bow costs about Rs 2.5 lakh.

Buli with her medals and certificates (Photo: <b>The Quint</b> / Anjana Dutta)
Buli with her medals and certificates (Photo: The Quint / Anjana Dutta)

Buli now a mother of two, lives with her husband and children at her father’s place. Her husband is a labourer but the earnings are never enough. So Buli supports the family by selling oranges on the highway.

Buli with her daughter at her father’s house in Chirang district of Assam (Photo: <b>The Quint </b>/ Anjana Dutta)
Buli with her daughter at her father’s house in Chirang district of Assam (Photo: The Quint / Anjana Dutta)

Buli says she can still succeed as a professional archer. All she needs is some support from the Assam Government and Bodo Territorial Council. She believes her medals can eventually help her get a government job. Till that happens, every morning one can find her selling oranges.

Buli selling oranges on the highway (Photo: <b>The Quint</b> / Anjana Dutta)
Buli selling oranges on the highway (Photo: The Quint / Anjana Dutta)

To help and support Buli Basumatary contact her on 9954348873

Video Input: Anjana Dutta

Video Editor: Rahul Sanpui

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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