The power of a human will is something that has no measure – it can break physical, mental, and social barriers. 23-year-old Chetna Saini did exactly this by winning the gold in a district-level boxing championship. She has broken many social stereotypes and inspired the nation to believe that we can achieve anything if we put our minds to it.
Chetna Saini spends close to five hours each day training and is currently all set for the national-level selections. In an interview with The Better India, Chetna said, “I belong to a family of four siblings and my growing up years were spent in Farrukhnagar, in Gurugram. There was a boxing camp that was organised by my coach, Dharamvir Singh, where my father took me when I was in class 9.”
She further added in the same interview, “I remember that the facilities there were very basic, hardly any good infrastructure”. Chetna kept boxing until she completed class 12 and as she joined college she got married at a young age of 18. But, what was interesting was that her new family completely supported her dreams of being a boxer.
She says, “My husband and in-laws have been extremely supportive. I continued to study even after I got married and soon had two children as well. Just after two months of delivering my son, I was back in college, and that was possible only because of the support that my mother-in-law extended to me.” After she became a mother she took a break as a professional boxer.
However, she got back into the sports when she started teaching boxing in a school nearby. This was the much-needed push she required to get back into boxing. She explains, “I was apprehensive about going back to competitive boxing because I had had two children and things were different for me. My coach encouraged me and worked with me to get my stamina and confidence back.”
Chetna had only two months of training before winning the gold at the district-level championship. The coach worked really hard in helping her gain that gold medal. She speaks fondly about her husband’s grandfather, and says, “His only concern was the bruises I would return home with after my training. He never once said ‘don’t do this’, and that, for me, has been the biggest support and blessing.”
Her two young children are also a big pillar of support for her career, they often encourage her. She says, “The younger one, who is two-years-old, will ask me if my hurt is because of the boxing.”
We salute this mother of two who is breaking barriers of social norms and prooving to the world that with dedication and hard work, anything is possible.