7-year-old Tajamul Islam from Tarkpora, Kashmir, has become the very first Kashmiri girl to represent India at the World Kickboxing Championship at be held in Italy. Tajamul won national recognition when she bagged the gold medal in the sub-junior category at the 2015 National Kickboxing Championship, held at Talkatora Stadium in New Delhi. Her achievement at the national level got her an entry to the World Championships, to be held in Andria, Italy in November this year.
“I felt so happy that I won and would be going to Italy. My mother, who was with me in Delhi, told me, that is how you play and knock down your opponent. My father, whom I spoke to on phone, told me that I will get a treat once I reach home and I was treated with my favourite Biryani,” Tajamul told The Indian Express.
Tajamul’s journey started in 2014 when she joined a local academy, which trains young boys and girls in martial arts. “I was walking near the stadium here when I saw many young boys and girls training. I saw them punching and all that and told my father that I want to join them and he let me,” Tajamul said.
She was declared the best fighter of Jammu and Kashmir after she won the state level championship, held last year in Jammu. She took home the gold medal. The chief coach at the championship, Kuldip Handu, impressed with her skills, pitted her against a competitor weighing eight kgs more than her. The lean but agile Tajamul, weighing just 25kgs at that time, got the better of her opponent. The win at the state-level championship earned her a place at the 2015 National Kickboxing Championship in New Delhi. Despite kickboxing not being her forte, Tajamul, a student of second standard, participated in the championship.
Her opponent was 13-year-old but that did not deter Tajamul, as she knocked her down in just 15 minutes and became the youngest girl to win a national medal. “I was a little afraid when I saw her (opponent). But then I said to myself that age or body structure does not matter. I will remain focused and give my best shot,” Tajamul said.
Tajamul is now a hero in her village and school. Think Change India wishes her all the very best for the upcoming World Championship.