PM’s help make Shantona self-reliant

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DHAKA, Sept 5, 2020 (BSS) – Shantona Rani Roy of Lalmonirhat is the best female taekwondo player in the country. Many people knew from mass media the struggling life of Shantona, who won 10 gold medals in the national and international competitions.

Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina gave financial assistance of Taka 10 lakh to Shantona when the hardship of the female player of the northern district came to her (premier) notice.

State Minister for Youth and Sports Md Zahid Ahsan Russel handed over a cheque of Taka 10 lakh, given by the prime minister, to Shantona at his secretariat office on July 16.

The state minister expressed gratitude to the prime minister for providing the money to Shantona after knowing her plight.

“We’re fortunate that we got a sports-friendly prime minister who always helps the distressed sportspersons … whenever we wanted anything for the development of sports, she gave us to that,” Russel said.

The state minister mentioned that very recently the premier allocated Taka 3 crore for the assistance of the players hit hard by the coronavirus. “We handed over this money to the country’s grassroots-level sportspersons and sports organisers,” he said.

Shantona also expressed her heartfelt gratitude to the prime minister. “I’m very much delighted that the honourable prime minister has stood beside me during my hardship,” said the country’s best woman taekwondo player.

“The honourable premier came to know my family problem through media in March last and she asked Russel sir (the state minister for sports) to enquire about me. Accordingly, he (Russel sir) phoned and called me in his secretariat office,” she said.

Shantona continued: “Later, Russel sir informed the premier of my plight and I expressed sincere gratitude to honourable prime minister and the state minister.”

Shantona, who played in two World Cups, won 10 gold medals, two silver medals and two bronze medals. But the path of winning the medals was not smooth at all.

Shantona grew up in a family plagued by the crisis. Due to hardship, pressure had came on her for marriage at the tender age. She struggled a lot after completing master’s from Rajshahi College.

Earlier, Shantona obtained honour’s degree from Rangpur Government College. To continue her study, she worked on the farm land, and also worked others houses as a domestic help.

She embarked on sports while she was an honour’s student. The martial art training was given at Rangpur Stadium at that time and she was admitted there.

Shantona’s story as a taekwondo player started from that time and she surprised all by defeating the black belt-holder player in the National ITF Taekwondo Championship in 2011. That year she secured the silver medal and since then, she didn’t need to look backward.

Though Shantona won many medals at the national and international levels after doing a massive struggle, their family is very insolvent economically.

Now she is doing a job of Taka 20,000 salary at a local school. She teaches martial art by going to different campuses of the institution. She goes to impart training by driving motorcycle she bought in instalments.

The instalment of the motorbike and own expenditure in one hand, while the mental patient brother and expenditure of education of her younger sister on the other hand. Shantona is the only source of income of her family. She is struggling to run their family at only Tk 20,000 salary.

Shantona stepped into 38 years in June last. Though her marriage age already crossed, she cannot marry due to demand of dowry by the groom side. These stories, published in mass media, imprinted in the mind of many people.

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