In a heartwarming development, the story of Mirabai Chanu and truck drivers is going viral. After bagging the silver medal at Tokyo Olympics, star weightlifter Mirabai Chanu returned a certain favour by rewarding truck drivers who helped her with free lift to her training center situated in Imphal.
For the unversed, Chanu became India’s first ever athlete to gain a medal at this year’s Olympics and first ever Indian to win a medal in weight lifting in 21 years.
The name is Chanu, Saikhom Mirabai Chanu. Recently, Chanu scripted history by bringing the small town of Nongpok Kakching in East Imphal to the world’s map. She did so by grabbing the silver medal at the Tokyo Olympics in the weightlifting 49kg category. After lauded by Indians and receiving a warm welcome upon her return, she’s now looking to repay some kind truckers.
Chanu Enjoying Her Well-Deserved Off
Say hello to my beautiful Manipur❤️🌏 pic.twitter.com/oz72OJY604
— Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (@mirabai_chanu) August 1, 2021
This feeling of meeting my family after a long span of 2 years is beyond words. I'm grateful to each one of you for showing faith in me and supporting me. Thank you Ema and baba for all the sacrifices you made for me to reach at this level. pic.twitter.com/RlXby6QoOv
— Saikhom Mirabai Chanu (@mirabai_chanu) July 28, 2021
After her subsequent return, Chanu has been enjoying some much needed and equally well-deserved time off from the sporting field. The 26-year-old athlete couldn’t pay her parents many visits due to the strict training schedule. After her visit, she was caught by the cameras hugging her mother Saikhom Tombi Leima and father Saikhom Kriti Meitei with tears rolling down her eyes.
Mirabai Chanu and Kind Truck Drivers
But recently Chanu made buzz by her off-the-sport actions. The Manipur based weightlifter, who resided in a small village 30km away from Imphal awarded certain truck drivers. Why? Well, it just so happened that while growing up, she had little to no means of way to travel to the sporting academy which provided her with training.
And then, fortune truly smiled on the brave and she found respite from the last place she had thought to look from. Some kind truck drivers from her small village who used to ferry sand to the nearest city gave her lift to the training center. These truck drivers became God-sent and asked for no money or any otherwise incentive for their gesture.
Truckers Used to Stop at Chanu’s Mother’s Tea Shop
After her grand return, her mother, Mrs. Saikhom Ongbi was quoted in news reports saying how the truck drivers that hauled trucks through the village stopped by her tea shop and then eventually provided Chanu free ride.
“She Never Complained About It”: Mirabai’s Brother
Saikhom Sangatomba was quoted by Olympics.com saying-
“Our parents would give her Rs10-20 for her journey. The village is very small and almost everyone knows everyone else. Early morning, trucks used to leave from the market square. We would know which of them is going towards her training centre and would send her with them. She never complained about it. She would go alone every day.”
Mirabai Chanu herself said how after her return she wanted to meet the truckers who gave her regular lifts for free to her training center and “seek their blessings”. She further said-
“They really helped me during my hard times of training. I am looking for those sand-carrying truckers so that I can try to extend whatever help they may require now.”
Chanu Invites Truckers, Rewards them For Their Gestures
Staying true to her word, Chanu looked for all those truckers and invited them to her home. She also rewarded them for their seemingly insignificant but a crucial gesture. In pictures shared on the internet, the humility of the young Olympiad is as evident as the joy among those good civilians who helped her in her journey to gold.
Olympiad @mirabai_chanu home was more than 25 km from the Sport Academy. No means of transport during those days, except trucks which carried river sands to the City. These truck drivers gave her lift everyday. Today she rewarded these truck drivers. pic.twitter.com/9WegUkwjkz
— Naorem Mohen (@laimacha) August 5, 2021
We at Shiksha News wish more power to Mirabai and to every person who’s keeping their head down, quietly making efforts and making strides in their lives. Along with them, we acknowledge those people who become a comforting support to those around them, in any manner possible.