Nirmala was only a month-and-half old when her father disappeared down the highway to never return. He abandoned the newborn and his ailing wife and left his old mother to take care of the two.
The old lady, Shyamala strived day and night doing menial jobs and household chores at homes in their neighbourhood of Alanthara in Venjaramoodu, Thiruvananthapuram to look after the two. Sometimes, a square meal would also be a far cry, but they did not give up.
Refusing to resign to fate, this young girl, who was once only known as the abandoned kid who hailed from a broken home in the neighbourhood, is a state swimming champion now.
Setting a record of clinching back-to-back gold and silver medals in the state school swimming championships for several years, the young athlete won the gold in 200 metres backstroke, once again reports local daily Manorama.
With an outstanding timing of 2.36 minutes, she was declared the undefeated winner, to bag gold in the 200m backstroke category.
A grade 12 student now, Nirmala, first started training in swimming as early as Grade 1 under a young swimmer from her village, Manish. She considers him, her first trainer.
Her hard work reflects in the fact that her countless silver and gold medal wins have earned her enough recognition that her training and hostel expenses are taken care of.
But she hopes to win many such medals and turn the lives of her ailing mother Rajani, and her grandmother Shyamala, who continues to take care of her daughter-in-law around.