Santosh, who hails from Sonipat, Haryana, is a national champion and seven times Gold medalist in Power lifting. The same sportsperson who was once considered as the next big sportsperson in India is today leading a sad life, helping her father at their tea stall to make a living. Yes, this great country of over a billion people has two contrasting faces when it comes to sports. One where the sport is followed religiously and the sports stars are being followed as role models and another one where the people do not even recognize the sport and the concerned sportspersons for their achievements. Santosh has experienced the latter by not only the people of the country but also by the respective state and central government who have turned a blind eye on her, every time she knocked the door asking for help.
National Level Champion Santosh who by her incredible performances has won gold medals seven times in powerlifting had to quit the sport due to an injury to her knee. Santosh was going through rigorous training when she got injured and had to put breaks on an amazing career she had planned for and was working hard towards. And since then she has been working alongside her father to help him make tea at their tea stall. She also works as a bouncer to earn extra money and takes part in few wrestling matches so that the family could afford two meals a day.
The powerlifter from Haryana says she was helped by Government as the state government provided her with a financial help of Rs. 2 lakhs to help her heal the injury. As the money provided by the state government has been used to go through treatment, she is pleading the government to provide her with a job which will help her take care of the family. Even though there has been no response from the government of the day yet, she is hopeful that the government will take note of her problems and help her.
“I was injured while training and had to discontinue powerlifting. The government helped us with Rs. Two lakh for the treatment when I got injured. I won many championships. I want the government to give me a job”, Santosh told ANI.
Rajendra Kumar, Santosh’s father, who runs a tea stall says that the financial help provided by the government got exhausted on the treatment of Santosh and urged the government to provide her with a job as the financial condition of the family is getting worse day by day.
“I have always supported my daughter. Never stopped her from following her dreams, but when she got injured, then things were not in my hand. The government helped us, but that money was all spent in her treatment. Our situation is not that good. We are urging the government to give her job. Then I will get her married soon”, says Rajendra to ANI.
Santosh who worked hard for achieving her goals was on a winning roll winning all the tournaments she participated in and was dreaming of representing the country one fine day at the international level, but all her dreams came crashing down to earth when she got injured and had to go for treatment to heal her injury. This also meant that she would be forced to opt of sport bringing a rather sad end to a glorious career she was dreaming of. The agony did not stop there, her pain rather than reducing day by day went on increasing manifold as the once national champion who used to lift dumbbells and weights had to lift tea trays to supply tea to the customers who visited her father’s shop. The amount of pain she has gone through cannot even be imagined by people who have stood as witness to both her success and downfall.
We at Abdul Kalam Fan Club urge you to share this article and help us raise voice against this kind of negligence of our sportspersons. Please remember the way government treats its sportspersons determines how good the next generation of sportspersons will be. So if we want India to produce sports stars who would win Olympic medals and make the country proud, we would have to take very good care of the present generation of sporting people as they will be the role models for the upcoming ones.