Source: Times of India | Image Courtesy: Times of India
“I am ready to sell my kidney. If anyone needs a kidney, they can contact me.”- says a Facebook post by a 20-year-old squash player Ravi Dixit, who is incidentally a gold medalist in the 2010 Asian Junior Championship. Ravi who will represent India at the South Asian Games in Guwahati next month, is struggling to get funds. To raise funds for his campaign, took to the social networking site to auction his kidney.
The complete post on Facebook goes this way- “I have been playing squash for the last 10 years. Even after winning so many medals and representing India so many times, I do not get any support to take my squash to the national and international levels. Dhampur Sugar Mill has supported me but how long will they continue to support me? Next month, the South Asia Games are starting in Guwahati and I am representing India. To prepare for the tournament, I am training in Chennai but I have not been able to arrange enough money to fund my campaign for the games. I have lost my determination. I am ready to sell my kidney. If anyone needs a kidney, they can contact me. The price of my kidney is Rs 8 lakh”.
However, an attempt to sell kidney is illegal under the law, which can put Ravi in more trouble.
Ravi’s parents are worried about his attempt to sell his kidney. He belongs to a middle-class family from Bijnor, Uttar Pradesh. His father, Ramkailash Dixit, is a Class-IV Employee at the Dhampur Sugar Mill. The meager income proves insufficient even to support the family, leave alone financing Ravi’s tournament.
“I have spoken to Ravi. He is in Chennai right now but I spoke to him on the phone. His mother and I are imploring him not to take the step. Together, we will figure out a way to deal with this crisis. This way, he will ruin both his life and career. I am saddened to hear that my son is taking such a drastic measure. I funded my daughter’s wedding with Ravi’s winnings. Since he has to support the family as well, he cannot use much of what he gets for himself,” his father said as quoted by the Times of India.
“Dhampur Sugar Mill had been very generous in supporting Ravi’s career. But the family is too embarrassed to seek the help of the mill anymore,” says his mother Sarvesh.
A generous Vijay Gupta, an official at the mill, said, “The mill has always supported Ravi in his endeavor. We wish he had come to us before doing such a thing. We will speak to him and do whatever we can to help him.” Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh state minister Moolchand Chauhan promised to meet the family and take the matter to chief minister Akhilesh Yadav.
Ravi’s case reflects thousands of similar zealous sportsperson, who find themselves between Scylla and Charybdis. There are many alternatives available for funding similar endeavors such as crowd funding websites; lack of knowledge about them is the hurdle. This maybe one of the reasons Ravi decided to take such a step.