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On a new track

Jyotirmoyee Sikdar changes tracks from athletics to politics



A GOOD SPORT: `An MP and an athlete has a place in society'

Jyotirmoyee Sikdar, one of the top athletes in India in the Nineties, may have retired from sports but she is still in the race. However, her arena has changed from the playground to the game of politics. As CPI(M) MP from Krishnanagar in West Bengal, she is still hitting the limelight. Visiting Thiruvananthapuram as a member of the Parliamentary Committee on Human Resource Development, Jyotirmoyee halted for a brief tête-à-tête with Metro Plus.

Dressed in a green silk sari, hair neatly plaited, and balancing on high heels, the athlete turned politician spoke in accented Hindi on her priorities and new life as a politician.

Asked if Jyotirmoyee would like to be an athlete or a politician, she replied with a smile, thought for a while and then said, "Both are good but different. Each has its place in society." Married to Avtar Singh, himself a former athlete, Jyotirmoyee says that she relaxes with her family and two-and-a-half-year old son. But now, it is all too rare.

"It feels like I have almost left my family. It is difficult. My husband's aunt now looks after them."

Showering praise on Kerala and the encouragement given to sports, she says, "P.T. Usha, Shiny Wilson ... were an inspiration for all of us. Kerala has always been ahead of other States when it came to sports. I wish the rest of India would follow suit."

Although she was in the city for two days, she regretted that she was unable to do any shopping as she was busy travelling and meeting people. "It is just eight month since I became an MP. There is much work to do and I intend to do my best."

SARASWATHY NAGARAJAN
Photo: S. Gopakumar

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