Mangte Chungneijang Mary Kom, known to millions as Mary Kom, is an Indian boxer born on March 1, 1983. She belongs to the Kom tribal community of Manipur. She was awarded the World Boxing championship title five times and is the only woman boxer in the world to have won a medal in each of the six world championships she participated in.
Mary Kom was born in Kangathei, Manipur, to Mangte Tonpa Kom and Mangte Akham Kom, who used to work in jhum fields. Mary Kom completed eight years of education in Moirang and proceeded to Imphal for her ninth and tenth standards. Unfortunately, she could not pass her examinations. So, she quit school and gave her examination from NIOS and graduated from Churachandpur College. Although she was not brilliant academically, she did not give up on life. Not everyone is good at studies; some are good at sports.
From young, Mary Kom was interested in athletics, but the success of Dingko Singh, an Indian boxer born in Manipur, in the 1998 Asian Games ignited passion in Mary Kom and propelled her to enhance her boxing skills and become a professional boxer. Just like Mary Kom, we have role models of our own and we look up to them. When they achieve great things in life, we are inspired to follow in their footsteps, and this is what Mary Kom did. In 2000, she began her training under M Narjit Singh, Manipur State Boxing Coach. Since boxing is considered unsuitable for women by many, Mary Kom hid her passion and interest from her family and her family came to know about her interest through a newspaper when she won the Manipur State Boxing championship in 2000. Youths of today can learn a lot from Mary Kom. Many of the youngsters today are afraid to pursue their dreams; they are afraid of rejections from the society. Success can never materialise from fear. For success, one needs to be confident and determined. If you are certain about your goals and your abilities, you should take up the challenge and pursue them. Only then will you be able to reach the peak of success.
Mary Kom started boxing at the international level at the age of 18, which is considered old by several standards. However, she did not lose faith. C S Lewis, a famous poet and novelist, once said, “You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream”. In order for dreams to become a reality, passion, hard work and dedication are necessary; age is not a criterion. Mary Kom proved to the world that age is nothing but a number. Her determination to succeed in the world of boxing won her many medals, including a bronze medal in 2012 Olympics.
For her contribution to sports, the Indian government bestowed her with a number of awards, including the Arjuna Award in 2003, Padma Shree in 2006 and Padma Bhushan in 2013. Today, Mary Kom is happily married and has two sons. Her accomplishments are remarkable, which is why Sanjay Leela Bhansali, an acclaimed film director, decided to make a movie on Mary Kom’s life. The movie is expected to release next year for both local and international audiences and it is hoped that through this movie, thousands of children and adults will be inspired by Mary Kom to excel not only in sports but in any field they are interested in.