Savitri climbs 735 steps every day by lifting her cycle to achieve her goal

Lord Buddha once bathed in the waterfalls of Jonha Falls, located 40 km from Ranchi and famous for its natural beauty. Boasting unparalleled beauty and immense energy in itself, the white water stream of this waterfall flowing continuously from a height of 150 feet, twice daily, the struggle, passion and lofty intention of 19 year old archer Savitri is felt closely for many years. Even on the stairs here, Savitri’s spirit, which looks normal, has left a deep impression. In order to go from home to the training center to practice archery, this archer has to climb 735 steps by lifting her bicycle on her head and shoulders to reach the road from the bottom of the waterfall. The same process is repeated in descending the stairs while returning home in the evening.

Savitri, a resident of Konardih village near Jonha, passes through the waterfall every day. Savitri’s village is across the fall and 10 kms away from Jonha Archery Training Centre. The steps of the waterfall cannot be crossed by cycling, so it is the compulsion of Savitri to travel this journey by lifting the cycle. After covering the stairs, she rides a bicycle and moves forward towards the goal.

It takes them one and a half to two hours daily to reach the centre. Coming from a poor family, Savitri is a student of class 11th and aspires to become a great archer in future and bring medals for her country in the Olympics. There is a dream of touching the heights of success in her eyes.

Seeing Savitri climbing and descending the steps of the waterfall by picking up a bicycle, at first sight she looks like a lifter, but Savitri, who has included it in her routine, does not find it difficult. She says that to become a great archer, she will have to face even more difficulties, then she is ready. She considers international archer Deepika from Jharkhand as her role model. She got her inspiration for archery from her elder sister. In her short career in archery, Savitri has won four gold at the national level so far. She says my dream is to represent the country. I am working hard for this. Savitri says that in the year 2017, she started practicing with bamboo arrows and bows. Even now she does not have a good quality bow. Going to the center to practice takes the support of some players and the guidance of Rohit Koyeri, coach of the Jonha Archery Centre. Savitri has got medals in many archery competitions. In the year 2019, one gold, one silver and one bronze medal was won in the School National Championship held at Katappa, Andhra Pradesh. At the same time, in the year 2020 Jharkhand Under-19 competition got one gold, two silver and one bronze. In 2020 itself, she got a gold and a bronze medal in the Junior National Championship held in Dehradun. Earlier in the year 2018, in the Mini National Championship held in Vijayawada, Andhra Pradesh, she had won two silver and one bronze medal. She says that the financial condition of the house is not good. Father Mangal Mahato somehow supports the family through farming and other work. Right now she is practicing to get selected in the senior team.

Savitri’s swift steps on the steps of Jonha Falls reflect her passion and determination for the sport. The daughters of Jharkhand are more or less like this, far from the brilliance and resources of development, but full of immense potential. Here, by running on the trails and practicing with bamboo hockey sticks and bows, the daughters hit the ground in the biggest competitions. If champion daughters like Savitri, living in difficult circumstances, get a chance, support and encouragement, then they can pile up medals.

(EW correspondent)