Hima Das is an Assamese based Indian Athelete, who is the ‘Golden girl’ of India right now. Here, we see short biographical notes on Hima Das.
Hima Das was born on 9th January, 2000 in Nagaon, Assam. Her parents are Ronjit and Jonali Das. She is the youngest of four children. She lives in Dhing, Nagaon, Assam. During her childhood, she began to play football. She mostly played football with boys and also she wanted to pursue her career in football game. Later, on the suggestion of Shamsul Hoque, a Physical Education Trainer from Jawahar Navodaya Vidyalaya, Das switched over to athletics and began participating in short distance races. Nipon Das, an athletics coach from the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare during an inter-district discovered Hima Das with her true talents. He asked her to shift to the state’s capital Guwahati for training. Despite their reservations, Hima Das’ parents agreed to the proposal. Das moved to a rented accommodation near the Sarusajai Sports Complex and got enrolled to the state academy, which specialised in boxing and football. Later, a separate wing was started for athletics.
She practised running at the local field, a grazing ground, 50 metres from the house of their 17-member joint family. She practised before dawn when villagers would let their cattle loose, and after dusk when they would take them back home.
Das competed at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the 400 metres and the 4×400 metres relay. In the 400 metres, Das qualified for the final where she finished sixth in a time of 51.32 seconds, 1.17 seconds behind gold medalist Amantle Montsho from Botswana. In the 4×400 metres relay she was part of the Indian team that competed in the final. They finished seventh, with a time of 3 minutes and 33.61 seconds.
Das became the first Indian track athlete to hold a global title on winning the Gold medal at the World U-20 Championships 2018 at Tampere, Finland, in Women’s 400m with a time of 51.46 seconds.Having eun a slower first half, Das accelerated on the last 100 meter stretch overtaking three competitors en route to the gold medal. Das is now part of a group of Indian athletes who have won medals at the World U20 Championships, which includes Seema Punia (Bronze, Discus throw), Navjeet Kaur Dhillon (Bronze, Discus throw) and Neeraj Chopra (Gold, Javelin throw).
Her Social Cause:
Hima Das wants to end the illegal migration in her native village called Dhing. The village Dhing is constricted by Brahmaputra and an influx of migrants. Hima has been at the forefront of a movement against illegal influx.
“Dhing has produced the likes of dramatist Basanta Kumar Saikia, actor Debananda Goswami and writer Anamika Bora. Yesteryear’s table tennis star Monalisa Baruah Mehta has her roots here. But Hima’s performance has given the place a new lease of life almost six decades after Barkakati lit up the place culturally,” Biman Hazarika, an archaeologist, told The Hindu.
Many Assamese families sold off their fields and homes because of migrant pressure and became urban migrants themselves. Also, The Brahmaputra that used to be miles away is now flowing 3 km north of Hima’s village.
Hima, as lifetime sports secretary of AASU’s Dhing unit, has locally been at the forefront of a renewed movement against illegal influx. She has also been vocal against Delhi’s bid to push the “non-secular” Citizenship (Amendment) Bill of 2016 that seeks to grant quick citizenship to non-Muslims from Afghanistan, Bangladesh and Pakistan. But some 190 families of Kandhulimari and adjoining villages know her more as an activist against social ills. In 2016, she led a group of women in dismantling an illegal liquor outlet at Auni-Ati.
Hima Das has become a buzzword overnight. She is a Shining Star in a world where gender plays a slit in Sports. More than the fact that she has been able to grab the Gold Medal at a world platform, the ugly truth which makes her a Shining star is that she hails from a country where “Female Foeticide” is still practiced at various parts, since a century. She did not bother that she is a Girl. All she knew was her passion to run which made it possible for a girl who ran on rice fields to run on a world track representing her nation. She sailed against the wind where the society is judgemental at every step a woman takes- be it her career choice, her choice to wear or how to behave, be it at home or at social spots.
Girls like Hima Das are a proof that women have great hidden potentials within them. If given proper opportunities and platforms to showcase their talents and pursue their respective interests they can be treasures and not burdens to society and family. Girls like Hima inspire and spread hope to many girls, who are constrained by the society because of their gender, to sail against the wind and rise high and even higher.