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National Level Taekwondo Player From Manipur Sells Fruit Salad to Fund Training

Diana Ningombam sells fruit salad at a roadside stall every morning and practices taekwondo in the evening for an upcoming event in Hong Kong.

Tulika Devi | News18 Sports

Updated:May 1, 2019, 3:26 PM IST
National Level Taekwondo Player From Manipur Sells Fruit Salad to Fund Training
Diana Ningombam sets up a small fruit salad stall in Imphal every morning. (Photo Credit: News18)

Imphal: A young lady cutting fruit on her stand - what's so special about this picture? It went viral on social media recently not because of the imagery but because of the lady who was in the picture.

The photo was of Manipur's Diana Ningombam, a national level sportsperson, who has represented India in Taekwondo at several events. In fact, she is all set to play for India in an upcoming international event in Hong Kong.

The only things that stands in the way of her accomplishing her dreams, however, is her financial constraints.

Youngest among the three siblings, Diana neither wanted to burden her mechanic father nor her mother, who works in the historic Ema market for her sponsorship. This is when she got her destiny in her own palms and became a roadside fruit salad seller to fulfill her dream.

Diana reflects the true spirit of her state that Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself attributed as the powerhouse of sports and Olympic prospects.

Instead of waiting for government support Diana is creating her own path to achieving her dreams.

On Tuesday at around 5 in the morning, Diana was spotted by News18 coming on a Honda Activa with her elder sister and they both prepared the stall for the day. She was immediately approached by many early birds in Kangla to have a fresh bowl of fruits that costs only Rs 20 per bowl.

Diana Ningombam-News18

(Photo Credit: News18)

She wakes up at 3AM, prepares for the day ahead and then sets out to put up her stall. After the days' hard work, Diana devotes her evenings for practice. The earnings from her stall and the hard work she puts in is all for her preparation for the international tournaments.

There is a saying Diana strongly believes in - when the going gets tough, the tough gets going. In a state which has produced living legends like Mary Kom, Kunjarani Devi and many more, Diana sweats it out to make her own mark.

Diana Ningombam started learning Taekwondo in 2006 and has won several medals at the national and international level. In Manipur, Diana selling fruit salad every morning at the roadside of Kangla Pat, situated at the heart of the Imphal City, is a common sight.

Diana told News18 she expends around Rs 600 as the capital and in return she receives around 300 to 400 rupees as profit daily from her venture.

(Naren Meitai Reports from Manipur for News18)

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