The Sports Ministry has come forward to extend financial support to Ramananda Ningthoujam, a young footballer who has represented India at various international tournaments, and is suffering from kidney failure.
The son of a rickshaw-puller, his family does not have the means to provide him necessary treatment. He is presently at Shija Hospital in Manipur and is also suffering from a problem of blurred vision, along with the kidney problem.
Taking cognisance of his serious medical condition and the financial situation of the family, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju has sanctioned an ex-gratia financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh to the athlete under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for sportspersons.
Speaking about the decision, Rijiju said, "The welfare of our athletes is of primary concern for the government. Ramananda has represented the country on various occasions and contributed to Indian sport."
"To provide the best facilities, both off and on the field, is important because not only are athletes our national assets, they are also national icons so if we cannot ensure a life of dignity for them, then it would be impossible to motivate sportspersons who give up the best years of their life for sport."
Ramananda, who is also the eldest son of the family, has represented India in the U-17 Asian Football Championships in Guwahati in 2017 as well as the U-12/U-13 National Sub-Junior Championships in 2013 in Kalyani and U-15 National Championships in Delhi in 2015.