From international champion to changemaker: Tajamul Islam’s inspiring mission to empower Kashmiris through kickboxing

Srinagar (Jammu and Kashmir) [India]: Hailing from North Kashmir’s Bandipora district, Tajamul Islam, a two-time world kickboxing champion, is on a mission to empower young girls with self-defence training.

Her journey of triumph began when she won gold for her country at the tender age of just six, representing India in a world kickboxing championship held in Italy.

Tajamul’s story is not only one of sporting excellence but also of her unwavering dedication to empowering girls through self-defence training.

Born in the Muslimabad locality of Bandipora, Tajamul faced her share of challenges. Yet, she refused to let societal norms deter her from pursuing her passion for kickboxing.

Inspired by watching kickboxing on social media and television, she dreamed of becoming a champion in the sport she loved.

As she embarked on her journey, Tajamul encountered skepticism and criticism from those around her. People doubted the idea of a young girl engaging in sports, especially in a male-dominated society.

However, her parents became her pillars of support. Despite facing societal pressure, Tajamul’s mother, in particular, played a crucial role in convincing her father to allow her to pursue her dreams. Their unwavering belief in her talent and potential paved the way for Tajamul’s success.

As she climbed the ladder of success in kickboxing, Tajamul’s vision went beyond personal achievements. She wanted to make a positive impact on her community, particularly on young girls. She realized that self-defence training was not just about winning medals; it was about empowering girls to face challenges with confidence and courage.

In the face of adversity, Tajamul established her own kickboxing academy. Her academy quickly became a safe space for young girls and boys to train together, breaking gender barriers and promoting equality.

Tajamul’s students found not only a skilled mentor but also a caring friend who inspired and motivated them to be their best selves.

Through her academy, Tajamul aimed to instill discipline, self-belief, and a sense of camaraderie among her students. She worked tirelessly to create an environment where girls felt empowered and free from hesitation.

Tajamul’s dedication and hard work bore fruit, as her students began to win medals in national and international competitions.

Beyond sports, Tajamul also spearheaded awareness programs, advocating for the importance of treating both boys and girls equally. She encouraged parents to support their children, regardless of gender, in pursuing their interests and dreams.

“Her academy not only produced kickboxing champions but also young individuals who were ready to face the world with newfound confidence. Her efforts were not in vain, as her students’ attitudes and outlooks transformed positively,” she said.

“In a world where gender-based challenges and harassment persist, her work became even more critical. She envisioned a society where girls could move freely and fearlessly, equipped with self-defence skills to safeguard themselves,” the young girl said.

Her story of determination, resilience, and empowerment continues to inspire countless girls across Kashmir. Her dedication to uplifting the lives of young girls through kickboxing and self-defence training is a shining example of how a single individual can create positive change in her community.

“As Tajamul Islam, the young kickboxing champion, stands tall with her students, she exemplifies the power of passion, perseverance, and belief. Her legacy will forever remain engraved in the hearts of those she has touched, proving that through sports and education, young girls can rise above societal limitations and fulfil their true potential,” said one of her relatives.

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