Now a leading boxer of the national team, Pwilao Basumatary grew up in a small village in Chirang, Assam, and her childhood was a battle with hunger and poverty. Though from a family of farmers, Pwilao's childhood was spent struggling for every meal. But once she managed to get a place in the Sports Authority of India's Special Area Games Centre in Kokrajhar, she never looked back. Her maiden international outing was the 2011 World Boxing Championship in Turkey where she won a bronze.
Just as she was coming into her own, the 2012 ethnic violence broke out in Assam and lakhs of people became homeless. Her family was among them. The violence and its aftermath deeply pained her. Her success is hailed as new hope for Bodoland.