Barbil to Brazil: The Story of Odisha Boy- Babulu Munda

Barbil: He won his maiden medal (Silver) in the very first attempt at 16th All Odisha Kick Boxing Championship held at Bhubaneswar on 18th December 2011. He was six then. Hardly believable. But he never looked back from then to show his innate talent. With regular practice and hard work, he has been selected to participate in 7th World Wushu Championship at Brazil from 9-16th July this year.

Meet Mr. Babulu Munda of Sialijoda village under Deojhar Grampanchayat of Keonjhar district. Munda is now an 8th standard student of Govt. Nodal U.P. School, Barbil.

JSPL Foundation spotted this young talent in 2011. He was supported for training at Sialijoda Primary School under Coach Pankaj Kumar Mahanta, an Asian Indoor Games Kickboxing Medalist. Since beginning, Munda’s enviable knack for martial arts and quick learning attitude impressed the Coach. And after a six-month rigorous training, supported by JSPL Foundation, Babulu won the Silver medal at the State level championship.

“On a daily basis I impart training to students at the school. But I was overwhelmed with the impressive accuracy of this boy (Babulu) in my first session with him. Initially I thought it could be a coincidence. But in my every session he came out with flying colours and consistency”, Said Mahanta.

By the time Munda completed his Primary education in 2016, he had at least 10 medals (7-Gold, 1-Silver, 4- Bronze) to his credit in just 12 events. Brought up by his grandmother, a daily wage labourer, for this parentless tribal boy, neither poverty nor lack of facilities could ever deter him from achieving success.

Impressed over the masterful performance of Babulu, JSPL Foundation, which has been promoting rural and ethnic sports in the region, extended all out support to him, starting from his admission for higher studies in Urban David School, to training, providing nutritional supplements and facilitating his participation in State and National level Championships.

Babulu’s passion for martial arts has earned him 17 medals from 21events so far at State and National levels- the latest being Silver medal in the 17th Sub-Junior Wushu National C’ship held from 27th to 31st March, 2018 at Jammu & Kashmir.

The tribal boy’s stunning performance at the Sub-Junior National Coaching Camp at SAI, Bhopal in May this year confirmed berth for his Brazil tour. Currently he is under training in China.

Babulu, now a well-known figure in the Sub-junior category, has already brought several laurels to the State. Now he aims to hit the yellow metal for India. “Yes, I will make it Gold for my country”, an elated Babulu said thanking JSPL Foundation for its all-out support.


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