Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has sanctioned a sum of Rs 5 lakhs to Shiksha, a national Wushu champion from Haryana, who came under severe financial distress amid the COVID-19 pandemic and had to quit her training and take up a job as a farm labourer to support her family.
The 22 year-old athlete, who has won 24 gold medals at the state Wushu Championship, was sanctioned the money through the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for sportspersons.
Speaking from her home in Rohtak, Shisha, who is also pursuing her BSc in sports science, said she is grateful for the intervention of the Sports Minister and hopes to return to training as soon as possible.
"I don't have words to thank the Sports Minister for his noble gesture and sending across Rs. 5 lakhs at a time like this. I am absolutely determined to get back to my training at the earliest and it's so good to see such a proactive minister who cares for the athletes. I promise everyone that within a year, I will win a gold medal for the country."
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has put a stop to the daily training regimen of sportspersons and in the case of Shiksha forced her towards manual labour, she is confident that this is a short-term measure and she is only doing it to repay her parents for the sacrifices they have made for her.
"My main ambition is to win gold for the country, my parents have sacrificed everything to bring me here. Unfortunately due to the pandemic things were brought to a standstill, my training got stopped and I had to take up manual labour and support my parents.
"However once all this ends, I want to return to training because winning gold for the country is my ultimate aim," she said.