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India’s remote village celebrate national bodyweight champion

A Catholic youth Ongbem Mossang from the Magantong village in remote Arunachal Pradesh in North-eastern India, won honours at the national powerlifting competition held in Noida, Uttar Pradesh state.
Ongbem Mossang. (Photo: Supplied)

A Catholic youth Ongbem Mossang from the Magantong village in remote Arunachal Pradesh in North-eastern India, won honours at the national powerlifting competition held in Noida, Uttar Pradesh state.

Ongbem Mossang won a gold medal in the 56 kg bodyweight junior category. He was given a rousing reception upon his arrival back at his native village, Magantong in Changlang district, on January 17.

The 21-Year-Old Tangsa tribal boy was among the talented Arunachal contingent who bagged 13 medals for the state in various categories of the competition. The World Powerlifting Congress India organised the national championship event on January 8 and 9.

Bishop George Pallipparambil of Miao Diocese met him upon his return and congratulated him for bringing cheers to all the people of the state in these trying times.

“You are an example for many of our youth who are lost to mobile phones and addictions of all kinds. With your achievement, you bring your village to the map of India. It is because of people like you that our interior villages of Arunachal Pradesh come to light,” he said.

Local reports say that the village community at the gathering ‘beamed with pride’ at the achievement of the youth. “It is indeed a matter of great pride for the whole village. A boy from our unknown village has registered his name in the national records and this will indeed inspire many young boys and girls to excel in different fields,” said Khulkum Mossang, the village Catechist.

Member of the legislative Assembly Somlung Mossang congratulated Ongbem and expressed his appreciation by announcing a cash reward of Rs 1 lakh (USD 1341.00) towards further training.

“Real talents are hidden in the last villages of Arunachal Pradesh. If our government could help young boys like Ongbem, we can also have Mirabai Chanus and Lovlina Borgohains from our villages,” said village leader Mankhul Mossang.

Ongem, while speaking at the felicitation ceremony, said, “Winning such tough competition is not easy. It takes a lot of sacrifice, sweat and blood, and painstaking preparation and hard work. But I am not doing it for myself. If my achievement can inspire at least one youth from my area to give up the mobile phone and drug addiction, my winning becomes more meaningful.”

Recounting what led him to such challenging sport, Ongbem said, “I was the most notorious boy from my village, indulging in all kinds of bad habits. I am lucky to have come across friends who guided me with the right advice at the right time. I owe it to my friends and seniors who advised me to join the gym to cultivate healthy habits. They also enrolled me in World Powerlifting Congress Arunachal Pradesh. And here I am.”

More than 180 participants from across the country took part in the two-day event. Eleven participants represented Arunachal Pradesh.

Ongbem is the second of the four sons of Bemtang Mossang, a police constable and homemaker Hiramoni Mossang.

Arunachal Pradesh powerlifter Azad Basfore also created history by winning the ‘Strongman of India’ title in the National Powerlifting Games for the second consecutive year.

 

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