Coach Turns Down Swapna Barman Biopic Offer

RBN Web Desk: Subhash Sarkar, personal trainer of Swapna Barman, has refused the offer from a leading director from the Bengali film industry to make a biopic on the athlete. Swapna won the gold medal in the heptathlon event of the recently concluded Asian Games in Jakarta, the first for any heptathlete from India.

What made Swapna’s achievement more inspiring is that the 21-year old athlete had to battle insurmountable odds to emerge at the top of the victory podium. Coming from an impoverished family of lowly paid daily wage labourers in Jalpaiguri, Swapna participated in the event with ill fitting shoes, and a splitting toothache. She has twelve toes on her feet and needs special shoes for training which her family could not afford. Swapna competed wearing regular shoes and suffered immense pain in the entire event spread over several days.

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Speaking to the media, Sarkar said that the director, backed by a major production house of Kolkata, had approached him with the idea of the biopic, which he has turned down. It’s too early to make a biopic on Swapna, he said, adding that the film could have a negative impact on the future performance of the athlete who still has a long way to go and will now train for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

Qualification to the Olympics is a multi-stage process and attracts the best athletes from all over the world.

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Sarkar said, Nitesh Tiwari’s 2016 film Dangal had a huge impact on the performance of wrestlers Geeta Phogat and Babita Kumari, on whose lives the biopic was based. The same happened to boxer Mary Kom who could not repeat her success after the release of the self-named biopic in 2014. The media attention, Sarkar reasoned, could distract her concentration from the higher goals she has set her eyes on.

It has been learnt that the director has not given up hope and is speaking to Swapna’s family to convince her coach.

While sports films are not entirely uncommon in Bengali, a biopic on a sportsperson is yet to be made in the language.


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