RANCHI: Sonu Khatoon, a national level archer, who is forced to sell vegetables to earn a living for her family in lockdown, has sought support from the Jharkhand government to continue her practice.
Though she has been provided financial assistance of Rs 20,000 by the district administration in Dhanbad after the intervention of Chief Minister Hemant Soren on Tuesday, according to her, it will not fulfil the purpose as a normal kit for playing International tournament coasts much more than that.
Notably, Sonu had to stop archery practice after the bow, which she purchased saving money, was broken and she could not afford to buy another one due to the poor financial condition of her family. Sonu’s father works as a daily wage labourer and supports a family of five.
“I was getting free coaching by Shamshad Sir at Feeder Centre which is sponsored by Tata Steel where only under-18 players are provided with all facilities. But, even after that I continued my practice by purchasing a low costing kit on my own, but it was broken about a year ago following which I had to discontinue,” said Sonu. She was earning a living by working as a domestic help to some of
the houses but due to lockdown, she had to switch to selling vegetables.
“All I want in this world to continue my archery practice and appeal the state government to make such an arrangement that I don’t have to spread my hands before anybody,” she added.
Meanwhile, coach MD Shamshad is also of the view that Sonu being a sportsperson must get support to continue archery further in her life.
“Since she has performed well earlier in archery it is the duty of the society and the state government to provide her with all facilities to excel in her field. Providing financial assistance once or twice will not do, rather some permanent solution must be found out for such players,” said the Coach.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren, however, has said that it is painful to see that Sonu being forced to sell vegetables in order to feed her family. “The state government is taking all measures to map the talented sportspersons and ensure that they get linked to all facilities and opportunities,” said Soren.