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'It's her determination' - Mullaitivu Tamil woman secures gold medal in international boxing tournament

Inthugadevi Ganesh from Mullaitivu won a gold medal at an international boxing tournament in Pakistan on Tuesday. 

She began her education at Karupatamuripu Puthiyanagar school after leaving the Chithambarapuram camp with her mother, Nageswary in 2012 following the armed conflict. She studied at a school in Mulliyavalai and then Oddusuddan school where she was first introduced to boxing.   

After a year in Oddusuddan, Ganesh learned boxing for two years when she stayed at a hostel in Kandy where she further refined her skills in boxing.  

“To come this far, my mother, boyfriend, friends, and teachers have all supported me,” says Ganesh attributing her victory to the support of those around her. 

Ganesh’s mother told Tamil Guardian, “It’s her determination, she would cry a lot saying this is where I want to go, this is what I need to do!” 

Her mother also talks about the struggles they both faced without her husband. “She doesn’t have a father... without a father in this village we are struggling a lot. There are no buses or vehicles in this village. If we want to go somewhere, we must walk”.  

Ganesh says that her family struggled a lot to help her achieve great heights, thus encouraging families with girls to also help and support their dreams. She to talk about the hurdles often faced by women that would like to excel in a country like Sri Lanka specifically.

Locals of Ganesh's village celebrated her victorious return for the first time since receiving her gold medal. 

“A woman achieving something like this is very difficult, especially in Sri Lanka women have even less freedom”. 

Ganesh emphasised the struggle faced by many women in today's society. “Many people have said to me ‘you are a woman, you don’t need all of this. Look after your family and stay at home.”

However, she remains optimistic adding, “I see this as an opportunity to make both my country and my family proud.”

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