Asian Games Bronze Medallist sells tea to make a living, where’s Govt support?

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Harish Kumar is a member of Indian Sepak Takraw team in the Asian Games 2018. Many of us don’t even know or heard about the sport, isn’t it? However, Harish helped his team to win a bronze medal. He has brought laurels to the country but nothing has changed for him. For many, winning bronze medal has been a hero’s journey and though not have been easy.

Harish Kumar bronze medallist sells tea

Harish Kumar is a tea seller in Delhi. Every single day ahead of Asian Games, he would practice at the Indira Gandhi Stadium after his work, so that he could make the squad.  While various state governments promised cash rewards as well as government jobs to the Asian Games medalists, Harish Kumar continues with his daily struggles, hoping for a good job in order to support his family.

Harish said, “I have many family members and there is a very meager 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. I have started playing this sport since 2011. My coach Hemraj brought me into this sport. We also used to play with a tire 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,” he said.

Harish’s mother, Indira Devi 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.”

Speaking of the hard times their family went through, Harish’s brother Dhawan 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.”

India registered their best ever medal tally (69) at the 18th edition of the Asian Games in Indonesia.

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