Mary Kom helps body-builder

Imphal, Nov. 21: Olympic boxing bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom donated Rs 65,000 to HIV-positive Khundrakpam Pradipkumar's funds to ensure his participation in the 4th World Body-Building Championship next month.

Mary Kom donated the sum out of the cash incentives she received from various quarters in appreciation after wining a bronze medal in women's boxing in the London Olympic Games.

The sum came as a "big help" for Pradipkumar, 42, who is worrying about funds for his diet and trip to Bangkok for the world championship in Bangkok.

"I am grateful to the internationally-acclaimed boxer for giving me the financial support and it is a big help for me," Pradipkumar said.

Pradipkumar is living with HIV and this fact has not deterred him from continuing with his body-building exercises and also competing at national and international events.

After winning the gold medal in the 9th South Asian Body-Building Championship held in Ludhiana from November 2 to 4, he is preparing for the big competition in Bangkok. He had declared his HIV-positive status during the trial selection held in Pune on October 23.

Mary Kom handed over the sum to the body-builder during a function attended by parliamentary secretary M. Prithviraj Singh, Manipur Olympic Association president Bijoy Koijam, her coaches and friends at an Imphal hotel last night. She also hosted a dinner for the guests.

Mary Kom gave a sum of Rs 1 lakh each to four of her coaches ' L. Ibomcha, Khoibi Salam, M. Narajit and L. Kishan ' who played major roles in her success. She also donated a sum of Rs 50,000 to the funds of the Manipur Amateur Boxing Association.

She said she would provide Pradipkumar herbal life products for free as long as he required them.

Mary Kom said she would never forget her coaches as she could not have been able to reach the Olympics and win a medal without their guidance. "Without my coaches and help from public I will be nowhere," she said. Pradipkumar won the silver medal in the 50th Senior National Body-Building Championship held in Goa in 2010. He shot to fame after he won Mr Manipur title in 2007 in the 60kg category despite being HIV-positive. He acquired the virus through syringe-sharing with friends during his college days. He tested positive in 2000.

Pradipkumar was already a body-builder before he knew his HIV status. He requires Rs 35,000 to Rs 40,000 every month for his supplements.

A self-support group of HIV-positive women collected Rs 95,000 from donations while an NGO collected Rs 1.5 lakh to finance his participation in the 9th South Asian Body-Building Championship.