In three months, Assam’s Jinu Gogoi turns from baby-sitter to champion

Jinu Gogoi from Charaideo, Assam started bowling barely three months ago. That too only because she used to see her employer Bima Borah play the sport every evening at the Sarusajai Complex while she babysat Borah’s 10-month-old child.

“I used to watch her play every day, and once, just on a whim, I asked her if she would teach me the sport,” Gogoi revealed. Three months from that whimsical lesson, partnering Karina Patowary, she won bronze in the Under-21 Girls pair event at the lawn bowl green in the Khelo India Youth Games in Guwahati on January 15.

Gogoi belongs to Charaideo in Upper Assam. Her mother Mamoni Gogoi works in a tea garden in Sivasagar, managed by Borah’s husband.

“After I had my daughter, I got her as a caretaker,” Borah explained, “She helps me around the house as well as takes care of the baby when I can’t.”

One of the driving motivations for Gogoi to accept the job offer was a cancer-stricken father whose treatments forced her out of school after Class X. Teary-eyed, Gogoi dedicated the medal to him and resolved to put whatever reward she would get to aid his treatment.

For Borah, a member of the police, her ward’s medal was more than just reward for her own big-heartedness. She hoped that this would catapult her to greater heights.

“When I got her here I was hoping I could get her out of a tough situation and also educate her, and elevate her,” Borah said. “It may be a bronze, but it has come after just three months of training. I can see her continuing and getting much better very soon.”

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