Plight Of A Winner: This Asian Games Harish Got Us A Medal, Now He's Back To Selling Tea
With an overall haul of 69 medals, the Indian contingent for the Asian Games 2018 has broken the previous record and made the whole nation proud. However, many athletes, even after winning highly-coveted medals are back to their daily lives and to their daily grind. Delhi’s Harish Kumar was part of the 12-member Indian team for Sepak Takraw, which clinched India’s first medal ever, a bronze, in this sport at the Asian Games.
Back To Selling Tea
Reportedly, there was no one at the airport to welcome the 23-year-old Harish when he reached India after the Asian Games. Harish comes from a humble background and to support his family, he sells tea at a small tea shop. He was back selling tea at majnu-ka-tilla in Delhi, the very next day of his return.
His father is an auto driver and we have a tea stall which is run with Harish's help. We are poor but we never let that demotivate him in his journey. I would like to thank the govt and his coach for their support: Indira Devi, Mother of Harish Kumar #Delhi pic.twitter.com/DtKmSavCVf
— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018
As reported by ANI, Harish’s mother, Indira Devi said, “His father is an auto driver and we have a tea stall which is run with Harish’s help. We are poor but we never let that demotivate him in his journey. I would like to thank the govt and his coach for their support.”
Harish said, “Since there are more people at home and less people to earn, I sell tea. I want a job now so that I can support my family.”
We are very poor&I would like to congratulate him for making the country proud. Our coach Hemraj Sir spotted us&called us to play. SAI had also helped us a lot. I would like to thank CM Kejriwal for announcing Rs50 lakh&Sports Ministry for giving Rs5 lakh: Brother of Harish Kumar pic.twitter.com/egdPmb1FZB
— ANI (@ANI) September 6, 2018
According to a DNA report, Harish revealed that when he initially started playing this sport in 2011, he used to play it with balls made of rubber cut from tires. However, coach Hemraj spotted the burgeoning talent and introduced him to the Sports Authority of India (SAI).
What is Sepak Takraw?
Sepak Takraw is a combination of volleyball and football which is quite popular in Southeast Asia. The rules, simply put, state that the rattan ball has to reach the opposition zone and the players can use all their body parts except their hands. In the Asian Games, it was introduced in the year 1990 and Thailand has been the dominating country with 22 gold medals.
The Logical Indian take
The state governments and the centre felicitate and give cash awards along with promises of government jobs to the players. However, at times these promises remain mere promises and the lack of a steady job can hamper the possibility of future medals. It is our responsibility as a society which takes so much pride in our achievements in sports, to ensure that the players get the required support when they need it the most.