Withstanding the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune

K. Jyoshna, an archer of immense promise and just 10 years of age, has withstood many a tragedy. J.R. Shridharan profiles her.

The story of 10-year-old K. Jyoshna, a budding national archer, is a classic example of living life against all odds with a grin on the face. At an age when children are cozy in their homes and under the care of their parents, this little girl has withstood several unexpected upheavals with poise.

With her mother passing away when she was a toddler and her father committing suicide a couple of years ago, life was going nowhere for Jyoshna, until the Indian archery coach Cherukuri Lenin, who later passed away in tragic circumstances, adopted her.

“Lenin always wanted to adopt a girl child. He came to know about the plight of Jyoshna from a family friend and immediately took up the adoption formalities,” said the Andhra Pradesh Archery Association organising secretary and Lenin’s father Ch. Satyanarayana.

But fate struck another cruel blow to the hapless girl — this time a crippling one — by snatching her adopted father Lenin in a road accident when he was returning from Hyderabad after a felicitation function in honour of the Delhi Commonwealth Games coaches and players.

“She was crestfallen after Lenin’s untimely death but she had enough strength to endure it and move on. She (Jyoshna) eats, sleeps and breathes archery and practises six hours at the academy. She knows only two things — going to school and practising archery,” says Satyanarayana, who is taking care of Jyoshna and her brother Naga Babu.

The flood-light provision at the academy has come in handy for Jyoshna to practise her passion till late in the night.

The pint-sized Jyoshna, trained by J. Rama Rao, the Indian Railways archer, emerged the individual Olympic champion in the compound segment in the just-concluded 5th National under-13 archery championship in Vijayawada by punching 120. She also helped her team win the silver overall. “She, out of 360, scores around 320 to 329 which is a creditable performance in the international arena,” opines Rao.

Jyoshna made her national debut in the 4th National under-13 archery championship by winning team gold and individual Olympic bronze in compound. A friendly, vivacious kid, Jyoshna, believes in interacting with seniors like CWG silver medallist Ritul Chatterjee and senior National champion Jyothi Surekha. “She is the darling of everyone. She is very affectionate. She knows the importance of hitting the bull’s eye in archery and gets irritated when she scores an eight or a seven,” says Rao.

Jyoshna, a Class VI student of Viswa Bharathi Vidyaniketan, is now ranked fourth in the junior segment after a noteworthy show at the National ranking tournament in Visakhapatnam in August. “In fact, she took everyone by surprise by outmanoeuvring some of the seasoned archers in Vizag,” says Satyanarayana.

Satyanarayana is contemplating sending Jyoshna abroad for coaching and preparing her mentally for the 2014 Asian Games. “With compound getting the nod at the next Asian Games at Incheon, Korea, Jyoshna stands a chance to earn a berth. She needs to tone up her shoulder muscles and train better in different wind conditions. I am planning to send her to Mr. Natty Jamie, a former Mexico national coach and chief of the Robinhood Academy in California,” says Satyanarayana.