Yoga gold medalist makes a living as labourer in Chhattisgarh

A resident of Darra village, 19-year-old Damini represented India in the South-Asian Yoga Sports Championship which was held in Kathmandu from May 6-9 after overcoming great difficulties.

Published: 28th June 2017 04:28 PM  |   Last Updated: 28th June 2017 04:29 PM   |  A+A-

Damini Sahu head loads as a daily labourer to survive. (EPS)

Express News Service

RAIPUR: While Prime Minister Narendra Modi turned into a yoga guru in Lucknow rallying the nation on World Yoga Day, Damini Sahu, a yoga champion with three gold and silver medals to her credit, charried head loads as a daily labourer to survive.

Ironically, Damini is from Chhattisgarh, where the state government recently set up a Yoga Commission as part of an awareness campaign for yoga. A resident of Darra village about 65 km from Raipur, Damini represented India in the South-Asian Yoga Sports Championship which was held in Kathmandu from May 6-9 after overcoming great difficulties.

“I didn’t have money to go to Nepal. On May 4, I pleaded with minister Ajay Chandrakar who is from our Kurud area for financial support but didn’t get any help. Finally, I had to take a loan at 2 per cent per month interest rate to attend the yoga sports event,” said Damini who began practising yoga when she was seven years old.

Yoga champion Damini Sahu with her gold medal (EPS)

The 19-year-old won a gold medal at Kathmandu.

Despite repeated attempts Ajay Chandrakar, a health and panchayat & rural development minister, was not available for comment.

Damini said she has been struggling to get a labour card for the past several months. “After slogging for 8-10 hours daily I barely earn Rs 100-150. My mother too is a labourer. My father is handicapped with his right hand not working and mostly makes a living by selling balloons,” said the yoga champion who has three younger siblings.

A student of B.Com first year, Damini said, “My school has been a source of inspiration for me. Now I only do yoga if I can manage time in the evening.”

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