She was a girl with adamant optimism shining in her eyes when she was just 16, and that courage, devoid of whatever background she had hailed from, made Buli Basumatary to put all her hard work into archery and winning medals. She, at the time, is hailed as an epitome of inspiration to many but that talent has soon receded to oblivion very soon as no one was there to support her and slowly she succumbed to the toils of life.
Many could not spot this young lady trying her best to sell all the oranges she had bought from Bhutan in the wayside of National Highway 31 in Assam’s Samthaibari region. What would have been a talent known to the outer world and inspired many youngs girls of the country, Buli is now an orange seller. It is not the occupation that she had taken with much delight. Life has forced it upon her as the family of hers with two daughters needed a steady income to get out of the wretched situation there are into.
Buli was once a talented archer and has won many laurels in a short span of time. Without proper training and funding, Buli ascension to heights earned her the tag of a perfect “child prodigy”.
She started practicing archery in her own village with a handmade bow and arrow at a tender age. The conditions, however, was not conducive for this young talent. A region which was frequently mired in ethnic violence, insurgency and counter-insurgency, it took Buli many gargantuan efforts to hone the skills in archery. She did it but with no proper equipment or favourable condition. More, her parents were poor to even afford a better condition for her.
The talent of Buli was spotted in one of the camps organised by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). She won many tournaments and archery championships after that.
In the 2005, she won gold in the Sub-Junior National Archery Championship held in Rajasthan. The very next year, she won a gold in the School Games Federation of India. In the same year, she took a silver in the 51st National School Games at Amravati. She also won a silver in a team event in the 26th Senior National Archery Championship held at Jamshedpur. She bagged a silver again in the team event in the 28th National Archery Championship held at Jamshedpur in the year 2008.
She continued her envious show of talent by winning more medals in various national tournaments. She is even said to be a sure bet for India in the Olympics. Despite all the successes and achievements, she did not get any sort of financial help to sustain her training and day to day expenses. She didn’t secure support from the government which restrained her from getting a good trainer. She also had some minor injuries.
Because of financial constraints, Buli could not afford training equipment and had to stop participating in various championships. Her career and life came to a sudden halt. She hailed from a backward region of the country so nobody paid attention to the star that faded away too soon.
Buli is currently training four budding archers so that at least they can fulfil the dream which Buli once had.
Her financial backwardness crippled her journey to becoming a successful archer. She would have been an inspiring personality in Indian sports had she been given more attention by the government and SAI. Despite winning medals, she was not given any assistance by the government of India.