It feels great when an Indian athlete wins a medal, right? It should. The pride and the happiness are both understandable. What isn’t understandable is that we forget about these athletes after the victories. A few days of celebration is followed by years of oblivion and neglect, leaving many of them with no options but to take up jobs that pay them next to nothing. Here are a few examples of the same.
1. Francis Ranganathan
Francis was the goalkeeper of the Indian hockey team that won 3 gold medals at the Olympics. However, a report from The Hindu stated that after his demise, his family was found struggling to make ends meet. While Tamil Nadu did honour him by naming a school hockey tournament after him and also gave him a job, things became really tough for his family after his death.
2. Tumda Naresh
The winner of the Blind World Cup, Naresh now works as a daily wage worker in Gujarat’s Navsari. He is the only person earning in his family and had applied for many government jobs but did not get any. He now warns ₹250 in a day. His story recently got media attention and we hope that he gets the help he needs.
Gujarat: Naresh Tumda, part of team that helped India win 2018 Blind Cricket World Cup, now works as a labourer in Navsari to earn livelihood— ANI (@ANI) August 8, 2021
“I earn Rs 250 a day. Requested CM thrice but didn’t get reply. I urge govt to give me job so that I can take care of my family,” he said pic.twitter.com/NK4DFO6YYC
3. Sita Sahu
India’s star at the Athens Special Olympics, Sita Sahu now sells golgappas to make a living. She had won a bronze medal in the 200-meter relay race and 1,600-meter race events. However, even this prolific performance on the track couldn’t help her feed the family. Now her whole family is sustaining itself on the golgappa business that gets them ₹180-200 in a day.
Outraging abt Sachin Tendulkar? Do you know who is Sita Sahu? Olympian who won India 2 medals & now sells gol gappas. pic.twitter.com/lNxng2OgNx— Nishant Gambhir (@madnish30) July 3, 2014
4. Nauri Mundu
Nauri has played for the national hockey team 19 times but now works as a teacher while also farming simultaneously to keep her family of 14 people afloat. She earns around 5000 a month, which isn’t nearly enough for those many people. She was a fairly decent player, who couldn’t continue playing because she needed funding that she did not get. In a report by India Today, she was quoted as saying, “I would have continued if I had been helped by the government, much like it does with cricket players. I moved pillar to post but without any respite”.
5. Nisha Rani Dutt
Nisha participated in the Asian Grand Prix, and won a silver medal at the South Asian Championship. However, she had to give up on her chosen sport altogether because she had to look after her family members and support them. A report from India Today quoted her as saying, “It was difficult for me to continue the game and support my poor parents. In 2005, I joined Tata Archery Academy and remained there till 2008. Though I earned a monthly stipend of Rs 500 to 600, it was not sufficient”.