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With Sumit boxing, it's a bumper harvest now
Sumit Sangwan regularly called his parents from London to enquire how the paddy crop was doing. For the Haryanvi teenager, boxing is a means to a better life.
In Shekhpura Sohna village in Haryana's Karnal district, they don't bask in their son's glory and remain down to earth. At the moment though, they are angry at the refereeing that resulted in their son Sumit Sangwan's shock first round exit from the Olympic boxing competition.
The 19-year-old Sumit is the second youngest member in the Indian squad at London, but his parents - Surender and Anita Sangwan - remain untouched by his rise. They continue to toil in their four-acre paddy farm.
Ask the father about Sumit's feats and all he says is that they are happy because now their son need not work in the field to live a good life. He adds that nobody from their family had ever visited the city except to procure agriculture inputs, but Sumit charted a new course for himself and has been abroad too.
When we met him before the Olympics, Surender was ensuring that water flowed freely into the paddy fields by carving out a path with a spade, while his mother Anita was cutting grass for their livestock on a fodder cutter machine.
"Success has not gone to Sumit's head. Even though my son is in London, he calls us every morning asking about the status of paddy crops, " reveals the mother, and adds, "We always sound positive when Sumit asks us about the paddy so that he can remain focussed on his sport. "
Surender reveals how they didn't want their sons to carry on farming, and hence insisted on a good education. He adds that with the passage of time the size of their field has shrunk and are today left with only four acres, which was not sufficient to help the lead a comfortable life.
With limited sources of earning, the parents began looking out for alternative professions for sons, Sumit and Amit. It was then that uncle Vinod Sangwan suggested a boxing career for Sumit who was active and physically strong. He even recommended a Delhi-based academy for his grooming as a boxer. That proved the turning point in Sumit's life and he has never looked back.
"We could afford the training expenditure of only one of our sons and Amit who was also willing to become a boxer had to cut short his dreams and joined me in farming, " Surender adds. He further said that recently he got a letter from the Railways offering Sumit a job, and they realised that their dreams were getting some shape.
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