Parveen’s story is part of an initiative to effect a social change taken up by her coach Sudhir Hooda in a small village Rurki, 15km away from Rohtak, Haryana.
As a boxing coach, Hooda, the sarpanch of his village troubled by various social issues including excessive drinking, began two sports – boxing and handball – in 2011 to provide the young boys and girls a platform to let out their energy in a positive way.
His boxing effort showed good results, producing at least four boxers, including Parveen, who made it to the National camp.
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Parveen, who started training with 60-70 boxing kids in 2012, progressed well to secure medals in junior and youth events before getting noticed because of her gold medal in the South Asian Games.
Nevertheless, she had her share of roadblocks. Once when she was beaten up badly in a local bout and got knocked out, her farmer father, who was reluctant to let her do boxing, stopped her training. However, she and her coach persuaded her father to change his heart.
Parveen has proved herself at the international level by ensuring podium finishes in four events and winning the National title in Hisar last year.
The 22-year-old, who stayed with her maternal aunt’s house to train with her coach at Rohtak, realized her dream by making it to the semifinals of the World championships. Now her parents egg her on to go all the way and become a World champion.
In the semifinal, Parveen will take on Irish Amy Sara Broadhurst on Wednesday.