The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill. With job losses and extended lockdown restrictions, millions have been pushed into poverty in India and the world. People have been struggling to tide through the financial crisis especially with their savings drying up during the first phase of the outbreak.
There have been innumerable stories of individuals taking up odd jobs to earn their livelihood amid the pandemic. Mahendra Pratap Singh's story is one among them. Singh who is from Uttar Pradesh's Barabanki, is an archery coach, who is now forced to sell samosa and snacks outside his house in the Nawabganj area of the district.
Singh obtained a diploma in archery from the National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Kolkata and has 18 years of experience as an archery coach to his credit. He has trained several young archers while working in the UP Sports Directorate and the Indian Military Academy.
"I gave my entire life grooming young archers who went on to make their mark nationally and internationally. Now, how will I motivate young talent when I am myself frying samosas in my small shop?," Singh told The Times of India.
"What wrong did I do in taking up sports as a career? Had I joined a private job or opened a pan shop, I would have been in a better condition," he added.
Due to the financial crisis, Singh's children Devansh (8) and Vedansh (5) had to discontinuenue their studies and are currently helping their father with the work.