Holding a hot tea kettle in her hand, she looks like an ordinary girl surviving somewhere in the ghetto settlement. But, it is astonishing to see a national champion in shambles. It is the story of 23-year-old gold medalist weightlifter, Santosh, who won seven gold medals on national and state level is now coerced to sell tea.
Hailing from Sonipat, Santosh once hurt her knee while practising. She did not have enough money to treat her injury. Due to poor financial condition, she had to leave her sport. Santosh dreamt of representing India at international platform, and make her nation proud of her. Unfortunately, she is compelled to sell tea for withstanding with family.
Santosh’s father runs a tea shop and lives in a rented house. Due to poverty, it is hard to feed the whole family. To relieve her father’s burden, Santosh helps him to run his tea shop. She dedicatedly works a full day with her dad. Santosh says that she didn’t have money to study, so she also wrestles part-time to earn more for supporting her family.
Santosh’s father says that he had once dreamt of her representing India as a weightlifter but due to great impoverishment she had to leave sports. Santosh’s mother also shared her plight saying that the Government is doing so much for athletes these days; they can also help Santosh to heal her knee injury. She is also pleading Haryana Government for help so that she can stand on her own again.
It is not the first story highlighting plight and pain of our athletes in our country; There are many athletes like Santosh who are victims of sheer apathy of Government, who turn their hopes to decay which will keep happening in future too. We urge Haryana government to apprehend Santosh’s agony and empower her rights. If poverty is the honor for winning 7 medals then how talent will spread its wings in our country.