We already know the state of athletes in our country. They are not provided with adequate funds, resources and opportunities. Only cricket is celebrated as a sport in India, not giving any heed to other sportspeople regardless of the fact how much glory they bring to our nation. This has continued in past, and is continuing to do so.
Asian Games 2018 recently concluded in Indonesia and we witnessed a great performance by India by winning a total of 69 medals out of which 15 were gold, 24 silver and 30 bronze. Harish Kumar won a bronze medal at the event as a part of the Indian Sepak Takraw Team. He is an Aut0-Rickshaw Driver in Delhi. After a tiring day of riding a rickshaw, he used to go for practice everyday at the Indira Gandhi Stadium in Delhi.
After so much hardship, he finally made it to the Indian team and went on to win a bronze at Asian Games. Even after his win, he has to sell a tea for the living after returning to India. He currently sells tea at his father's shop.
While talking to ANI, he 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."
He also talked about his struggles and 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".
His mother 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 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."
His brother urged the government to provide Harish 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... and I also urge the government to give my brother a government job so that he can support our family."