Once an ace boxer, 28-year-old Dinesh Kumar from Haryana is now an ice-cream seller, trying to make ends meet. Though his boxing career was short-lived, Dinesh quickly proved his worth by bagging 17 gold, one silver and five bronze medals in various national competitions. He has even participated in international championships. With his financial condition in tatters, Dinesh’s life has taken a sharp turn from what it was inside the boxing ring years ago.
His boxing career began in 2001 after which he made his state and the country proud on several occasions. However, Dinesh’s dreams of becoming an international boxing champion came crashing down after his family was overburdened with debt, forcing him to join his father in selling Kulfi.
Forced to sell Kulfi to survive
Today, he is almost unrecognisable. Dinesh can be seen selling Kulfi (a type of ice-cream) in a little pushcart, with the name ‘Dinesh Kulfi’ written on it. Talking to The Logical Indian, a dejected Dinesh said that amid piling debt that his father had taken to send him for international championships, an accident which left Dinesh injured added to their poor financial conditions. To make matters worse his father had to take another loan to pay the cost of his treatment
Even with over 20 medals by his side, Dinesh is forced to sell Kulfi to repay the piling interest on the debt – a prospect that seems unlikely to yield success as he only makes Rs 250 to Rs 300 a day. Dinesh told The Logical Indian that his last tournament was in 2012, after which he stopped participating altogether. He said, “I can’t box with an empty stomach. I need money for keeping up with the diet that I followed.”
Expressing his wishes of going back into the ring, Dinesh said that he hasn’t lost touch with the sport but it would require a lot of time, energy, efforts and most importantly money to go back to his old self.
The family has lost all hopes
Dines has lost all hopes in the government and does not think that it will provide him with any monetary aid. Dinesh informed that he still has not lost touch with boxing and that a good sportsman like him is going to waste. Moreover, he is additionally engaged in coaching children to box as well.
The ace boxer’s coach urged the government to come in aid of Dinesh. He said, “Dinesh was very quick as a boxer. He has won a lot of medals in the junior category, but lost due to injury and is now selling kulfi (ice-cream). If Kumar is helped, he will be free from the burden of debt. If the government helps Dinesh, he will survive in future,” reported The Times Of India.
It is not the first story highlighting the plight and pain of our athletes. There are many athletes like Dinesh who are victims of sheer apathy of Government. The Logical Indian urges the Haryana government to apprehend Dinesh’s agony and empower him.