11-year-old Nithyashree from Chennai is a martial arts champ

Chennai: All of 11 years, Nithyashree stands next to a table filled with trophies at her home in Kannagi Nagar. Her medals and certificates are testimony to the fact that this scrawny girl can pack a punch and how!

The youngster who is an expert in Kung Fu and Silambam, lives in a single bedroom house along with her three siblings and parents. Life is certainly not a bed of roses for this family.

Her father is a daily-wage earner, while her mother works at a private office’s house-keeping department. Given the circumstances, pursuing an extra-curricular activity was understandably not on the agenda for the little girl.

All this changed when one of her relatives, Lakshmipathy, began coaching students, particularly girls, in martial arts. Nithyashree picked up fast.

“She is good at both Kung Fu and Silambam,” says the coach who was earlier a trainer at the Kannagi Nagar Police boys club.┬áHaving won the District-level championship in January, she bagged the gold at the National martial arts championship in May organised by Motherland Martial Arts Academy.

“This form of art is essential for self-defence, especially when living in such a locality. There is a stigma attached to this neighbourhood. I wanted to remove it by empowering these girls. I took her to the championships, so that she will get an idea. But I did not expect her to beat the opponents.”
Her mother Nalini says that she was initially reluctant in sending Nithya for the classes.

“I thought it was unnecessary and was worried. But when I went for a tournament, many parents approached me and praised her. Some of them also mentioned how she defeated their sons in few matches. This changed my outlook,” she states.

According to her coach, the girl has made it this far because of her will power, memory, physical and mental endurance.

In the words of Nithya herself, “I feel happy when I practise. I want to become a police officer in the future.”

Taking note of her talent, an organisation named Desiya Makkal Pathukappu, has come on board to sponsor her tournament expenses.

She can be reached at 72007 64005.

Naomi N