On 30th May, 2015, SocialStory wrote about the heart wrenching tale of our national boxing champion, Mrunal Bhosale, who was struggling to make ends meet by driving a goods carrier in Pune.
A quick recap
A forced career break in 2008 due to an accident exiled Mrunal from boxing. By the time he was ready for a comeback, he was over-age for the category he used to play for. Feeling down and out, conversations with Manoj Kumar (gold medal, light welterweight division at the 2010 Commonwealth Games) and Vijender Singh (bronze medal, 2008 Olympics) led him to try in the seniors’ category. With new found zeal, Mrunal went all guns blazing, winning the bronze at the National Boxing Championship (lightweight category) in January 2015.
A medal at such an event usually guarantees a government job with assistance for sportspeople to continue honing their skills. In fact, this was Mrunal’s inspiration to win the medal. With the job, he wanted to focus on boxing and win a medal for India at the Olympics. Despite beating all odds, this hero was shown the door whenever he applied for a government job saying that he was “too old.” Mrunal carried on with a dislocated shoulder since he didn’t have the money to pay for surgery. With no job in hand but the desire to play burning bright, Mrunal took to driving a goods carrier in Pune. Even with erratic hours at the job and very little money, Mrunal kept pushing himself with rigorous practice sessions, no matter how late he would get or how tired his body was. Back then, on a parting note he’d told us, “I would’ve played longer and had comfort had I got a government job, but I’m going to play even now. If I get some sponsorship and funds, it’ll tide me through financial stress. I’m doing and will continue to do whatever it takes to represent India on international platforms. I will continue to make my country’s flag wave higher and higher”
Change in gears for Mrunal
Gourav Jaswal, Director, TempoGO (a technology venture focused on the transportation sector) read our story on Mrunal. “It was a moving story. As an accomplished athlete, he should have the minimum support that his accomplishments deserve. I’ve dabbled in the martial arts off-and-on, and I know how physically and mentally demanding a sport like boxing is. I could translate our intention into action.”
TempoGo has ensured that Mrunal gets dedicated time to train every day at the Sports Authority of India(SAI) boxing training centre at Panaji (Goa) which is a few minutes away from the office. The company is also supporting him with training equipment, supplements, and time-off for competitive tournaments.
Gourav insists that Mrunal deserves what they’re providing him and that it’s not ‘Charity’. “Mrunal is an Executive in our Operations team. His being a sportsperson (despite adverse conditions) is indicative of the fact that he has self-discipline, drive and motivation. He also knows the transport business ground-up, having been a tempo driver till a few weeks ago. And his personal story can be tremendously motivational for people in the transport sector that we connect with.”
There is also a pragmatic angle to the job that Gourav throws light on,
Mrunal has a real position and role, not a showcase one. All we’re doing is giving him flexibility in his schedule so that he can train and compete. At the same time, he’s keen on learning from this first step in the corporate word, as it will help him make a career away from the ring when he sets aside his gloves in a few years.
From the horse’s mouth
Mrunal has completed a month at TempoGo. To the list of facilities given to him, Mrunal added that he’s being given adequate medical assistance as well, he’s being able to nurse his injured shoulder now. Thanks to his financial situation being stable now, he is able to focus completely on boxing. Mrunal, today, is filled with optimism as he signs off.
I have everything I need now, nothing can stop me now, and I’m going to get a gold. Winning at the Olympics is my dream for my country, I’m going to make it to the 2016 and 2020 Olympics