Archer Monisha conquering all the odds

Monisha AkhterCollected

Monisha’s fight is not confined against the opponents. She has to fight in and beyond the boundaries. Numerous competitors in and innumerable factors outside the field. She has to face all the stumbling blocks yet she proved herself as an indomitable fighter who keeps her target to the bull’s eye.

Monisha, the young archer did not have the means to purchase a bow. She used to collect the used bows and the arrows were mismatched. Even at the recurve event of the national youth archery, which took place at the Shaheed Ahsan Ullah Stadium of Tongi on Tuesday, she played with vetch compound.

But the young archer from Mariner Youngs’s club conquered all the odds and took a podium place.

Monisha Akhter

It was her first national level competition. She beat BKSP’s Urnisha Marma in the quarter final stage of recurve single event and beat Farzana Nusrat of the same institution in the semifinal. She lost to the country’s premier archer Diya Siddiquie but not before finishing with a great achievement.

Due to the negative comments of the neighbours, her parents did not want to see their daughter entering into the sports world. Monisha recalled, “Neighbours used to say, why should a girl play? They asked my father to arrange a marriage for me. They used to hurl abusive words as I practiced with trouser and tracksuit. Those are the reasons my father did not want to send me to Dhaka to play,”

But archery coach Saifuddin Bacchu stood by her side. Monisha, a student of Rajshahi Madar Box Home Economics College, came to sporting arena with the inspiration of him. The 20-year-old were describing her struggles after winning the medal.

Monisha Akhter

“A talent hunt camp took place at Rajshahi in 2018. Federation selected 10 girls out of 80. I got a call up to national camp by standing first in the camp. But my parents did not allow me to come to Dhaka.”

But coach Saifuddin was not ready to see the talent being wasted. He got permission for Monisha to play by convincing her father. Initially Monisha got call ups from Bangladesh Army and Tirondaj Sangshad Club. She joined army back in 2018 in pursuit of good facilities and a government job.

As she did not get a chance to play in the army team, she enrolled in the Mariner Youngs Club. As the only archer of this club, Monisha played in the National Youth Championship this time. The girl who never had the chance to prove herself won in her very first appearance. After getting the chance Monisha said to herself,” ‘I felt very stubborn. I used to suffer because I didn't get a chance to prove myself. This time I got the opportunity and showed to everyone that I can do it too.”

My confidence got increased after winning a medal playing very first time in the national youth archery. Coach (Martin Friedrich) must have seen my play. I want to appear in the next Olympic like Diya.
Monisha Akhter

Monisha's father is a mosquito killing worker of Rajshahi City Corporation. He spreads mosquito repellants with a fogger machine. The job is temporary. Manisha wants to relieve her family's grief by playing archery, 'I was hoping to win a medal playing for the army. Then maybe the job would have been permanent. But I didn't get that chance. But this time I played well for the club. The Police Club contacted me. I hope I will get a job there.”

Archery coach Sazzad Hossain gave Monisha a chance to play for the army. Sazzad, the current coach of the Sharjah Archery team in the United Arab Emirates, was saying on the phone, 'I liked seeing her shooting and height (5 feet 3 inches). After doing well in the federation's trials, she was recruited into the army on a contractual basis. She is a potential archer. If she gets good facilities, she will further improve.'

Monisha dreams to play in the Olympic like her favourite archer Diya. “My confidence got increased after winning a medal playing very first time in the national youth archery. Coach (Martin Friedrich) must have seen my play. I want to appear in the next Olympic like Diya.”