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Tribal Boy Captains Rugby Team to Victory

Yet again!  An example of excellence and leadership if only talent gets an opportunity to be groomed and expressed, no matter where you come from!!

Here is a newsclip from The New Indian Express, Bhubaneswar edition dated the 2nd of August, 2011. My only disappointment is : why such inspiring stories do not find a space on the first pages of all Newspapers. Nevertheless, grateful to this newspaper that they gave it a publicity. I want to broadcast it much further.

A 14-year-old tribal boy from Badangomunda, a tribal hamlet from Balangir district ( in Odisha), captained the RUGBY team of KISS ( Kalinga Institute of Social Sciences), Bhubaneswar to victory in an Under-13 Rugby tournament at Manchester, England.

A student of Class X at KISS, Dharamananda Bhoi was identified as a prodigy early by his sports coach Rudrakesh Jena. Dharmananda justified the faith reposed in him as he blossomed into a Rugby player par excellence. Subsequently, he was inducted into the school rugby side. “Dharmananda showed great interest in the game from the beginning. He was made the captain for his innovative techniques in the game and managerial capabilities,”said Jena. As a Scrum-half of the team, Dharmananda showed great skill during the tournament, especially in the semi-final match against South Africa, leading his team to a victory by 15-0. He replicated the performance in the final against Thailand, which went down by 25-0 to the KISS team. “ Playing Scrum-half requires great skill. It is that zone of the field where the player needs maximum stamina and intelligence to hoodwink the opponent. And Dharmananda performed superbly,” said Jena.

It took sometime for the news of Dharmananda’s feat to sink in among the people of Badangomunda. Even his father Nityananda who owns an acre of land, was surprised by his son’s achievement. He always took great interest in sports, especially football, said Jamanikanta Pradhan, a fellow villager.

—– Newsclip ends.

Yes, all that is needed to be ensured for the under-privileged classes is resources support & mentoring for honing up their skills and opportunity to take part along with the mainstream – not reservation, especially when you don’t care about their development from the beginning stage!

Further, having read this news article, I am wondering: who should get the greater credit – the boy or his coach ?? Actually, both stand tall at their own place. While the boy’s success by dint of his personal skills and leadership qualities is visible, behind the scene Shri Jena, his mentor, has done an extra-ordinary job, to be fair to him and to all those unsung heroes who are at the back of all successful people.

What the Coach has done here is true mentorship, which, in turn, is a demonstration of true leadership !! A true leader always encourages and grooms other leaders below n around him/her – (s)he creates and leaves behind her/him more leadership. A true leader possesses that rare ability which is rarer than ability itself – i.e to assess and spot ability early on.  Having spotted ability/talent, a true leader grooms it, mentors it !! Alas, look around and you will find too many in leadership roles, but very few leaders. Will those in harness in every field take a cue from this inspiring story ?

And of course, hats off to the laudable initiatives by the founders of KISS to provide the much needed opportunities and resouces support to the talented from the not-so-privileged strata of our society !!