Jesudas, former captain of the Indian tennikoit team, who has taken pains to promote the game for the past 20 years, is desperately looking for government assistance to take part in the Third World Tennikoit Championship to be held in South Africa between March 29 and April 5, 2014.
Jesudas is the only player from Tamil Nadu in the six-member team from India to be representing the country in the international arena.
The catch is that Jesudas has been asked by the Tennikoit Federation of India (TFI) to bear `50,000 towards flight charges, boarding, lodging and visa expenses. Jesudas, who is unemployed and hails from a poor family in Vaniyambadi, is hardpressed to raise this huge amount.
“The Chief Minister Jayalalithaa who has been taking interest in promoting sports should consider my case and extend assistance in this regard,” said Jesudas.
The TFI has selected three others -Arivalagan, Raghupathi, both from Vaniyambadi, and Vignesh from Sivakasi - and three women - Gayathri, Madhu Bala and Nithyalaxmi from Tamil Nadu,to represent the State in the Indian team.
Except Jesudas and Gayathri, the other players have no passport and hence they are unable to participate in the championship. “All these players, who had won the national championships, are from a poor economic background and the government should come forward to meet their expenses and other requirements,” he added further.
The former captain is also exploring the possibilities of getting sponsorships and patronage from corporates and universities to support the trip. “At 41, this would be my last participation in the world championship and I would like to devote my time to coach youngsters,” Jesudas told Express. He has won several medals and championships in the past two decades. Between 2006 and 2010, he led the Indian team as its captain to win medals in various competitions held in Europe, Russia and the USA.
Jesudas also secured a job as a physical director in a private teacher training institute for a brief period. He is getting ready for the coaching camp for the world championship, which is being held between March 5 and 12 in Maharashtra and the TFI has asked him to arrange for `50,000 while reporting for the coaching session.
With his fingers crossed, Jesudas is wondering if he would be able to make it to the coaching camp.