The Hemant Soren-led Jharkhand government recently announced financial aid to state archers in an attempt to help them participate in the international competitions.
On Tuesday, December 29, financial aid of ₹2.5 lakh each to four state archers and ₹2.7 lakh to a fifth archer was announced by the officials to mark the launch of a new sports policy.
The archers who have been offered ₹2.5 lakh are Krishna Pingua (16), Jagarnath Gagrai (18), Asmita Biruli (20) and Gunaram Purty (23). According to reports, these national-level players had been unable to compete in international contests due to financial constraints.
"We can now compete at the international level as we can buy equipment. One day we will bring home medals from the Olympics," Pingua told The New Indian Express. The archer had bagged a bronze at the Khelo India Archery Championship in 2017 and gold at the 64th National School Championship Archery Championship in 2019.
Gagrai narrated the difficulties faced by archers who belong to the marginalised group while thanking the government for the aid. He said, "We buy the 'Indian round bow' from Manipur that cost ₹4,000. But a recurve bow costs more than ₹2 lakh. The amount given by the Chief Minister will be a great help in achieving our dreams."
18-year-old Komolika Bari who had worn a gold medal in the World Youth Archery Championship, 2018 and selected for the next Olympic games was provided with an amount of ₹2.7 lakh. The archer is currently training in Maharashtra and had been facing a financial crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Her father, Ghanshyam Bari, was forced to sell his tea shop to tide through the crunch.
"Till now she plays on a rented bow, now she will have our own…I hope the government also gives her a job," he said.
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