Xtra Time Web Desk: India U19 women cricketer Archana Devi lost her father due to cancer at a young age. Archana played a huge part along with Titas Sadhu, Shweta Sehrawat, Parshavi Chopra in helping India U19 women team lift the inaugural U19 T20 World Cup Trophy 2023. The off-spinner picked two crucial wickets and took a stunning catch in the final against England at the Senwes Park in Potchefstroom on Sunday.
The life story of Archana is a truly inspiring one. Her mother Savitri Devi was called a ‘dayan’ (a witch) by villagers. She was mocked in the locality when she enrolled Archana at the ‘Kasturba Gandhi Awasiya Balika Vidyalaya’, an all-girls boarding school in Ganj Moradabad, 15-20 kms away from their village, Ratai Purwa, Unnao in Uttar Pradesh. People in the neighbourhood even talked about that Archana has been sold by her to some dubious dealer.
The family was in a serious financial crisis after Archana’s father Shivram died due to cancer in 2008. He left a lot of debts and so maintaining three young children was extremely difficult. In 2017, Archana’s younger son Budhiman Singh died due to a snakebite. Neighbours and relatives didn’t spare her then either.
Archana’s elder brother Rohit lost his job at a clothing factory in Kapashera Border in Delhi during the first lockdown in March 2022.
Unfazed by all these obstacles in her life, Savitri kept going. Her only drive was her dying son’s last words to “let Archana fulfil her dream.” And on Sunday, when Archana was handed over the winning medal along with her teammates, there were tears of joy in the eyes of Savitri Devi.
With the Women’s Premier League auction coming up, Archana Devi will definitely be the one of the U19 players to watch out for.