Asian Games bronze medallist sells tea to make a living, he needs Govt support

Why is it that some Indian athletes of various sports don’t get the good income they deserve? Is it the fact that they don’t play cricket to represent the nation? Every sport deserves equal praises right? The equation is all the same as all of them play for India.

Shockingly, an Asian Games bronze medallist was forced to sell tea for livelihood as there is no support from the higher authorities. The athlete, identified as Harish Kumar, is the member of Indian Sepak Takraw team that bagged the bronze medal at the recently-concluded Asian Games 2018 that was held at Jakarta, Indonesia.

Asian Games Bronze medallist Harish Kumar (Credits: ANI)

In a bid to support his family, he sells tea at his father’s shop. Harish said that he has a big family and the source of income is low. He balances his life by spending 4 hours every day for his practice sessions and also wanted to get a good job to back his family through and through.

Speaking to ANI at his small tea shop, Harish Kumar said, “I have many family members and there is a very meagre source of income. I help my father at the tea shop to support my family. I dedicate four hours every day between 2 to 6 for my practice. For my future, I want to get a good job to support my family”.

Talking about his struggles and initial association with the Sepak Takraw game, he said, “I started playing this sport from 2011. My coach Hemraj brought me into this sport. We also used to play with a tyre when my coach Hemraj spotted me and introduced me to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Thereafter I started receiving monthly funds and kits. I practice every day and will keep on doing it to bring more laurels for my country”.

Harish’s mother, Indira Devi spoke about difficulties under which she backed her son to follow the game. She said, “I have brought up my kids with a lot of struggle. His father is an auto-driver and we have a small tea shop. My son also works at a tea shop to assist his father. I am very thankful to the government for providing food and accommodation to my son. I am very thankful to his coach Hemraj who has supported my kid to achieve this accomplishment.”

Harish’s brother, Dhawan urge the government to support his brother by offering a government job.
He said, “There were times when we did not have money to pay our rent. His coach Hemraj took him under his training and admitted him to the stadium. Later Sports Authority of India supported us by giving monthly finances and sports kits.. I also urge the government to give my brother a government job so that he can support our family.”

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