Malkangiri: A tribal Odia boy from a remote village in the district garnered name and fame with his performance in marathons. His popularity was not limited to the district but he was a known long-distance runner in Andhra Pradesh and Telangana as well.
Today, this youth, Dibana Bugalat is working as a delivery boy with Amazon to earn money for his family. Bugalat is an exceptionally talented sportsperson who has won several medals in marathons.
For the past five years, Bugalat has been an inmate of the Sports Hostel in Malkangiri. He is also a student of +3 at a local college. However, due to the lockdown, triggered by Covid-19 pandemic, Bugalat is back at his home.
“Today I work as a delivery boy with Amazon. I am getting a decent amount to make my ends meet. I hope the lockdown ends soon and my practice resumes. I want to win titles at National and International levels,” said Bugalat.
The young marathoner’s study has also been affected due to the lockdown. He has to cycle 13 kilometres from his village to the district headquarters. “I am a poor boy and do not have a motorcycle. I use my bicycle to deliver products to the customers every day.”
Local people said Bugalat, and several other talents in the district need to be identified, encouraged and supported amid the Covid crisis. On the other hand, Bugalat toils for 12 hours a day on his cycle with the hope that things would normalise soon and he would be running more Marathons.