We don’t treat our champions right or except for cricket. We do hear a lot of stories about our athletes being ignored by the Indian government. Here’s another story.
This is the story of Dinesh Kumar, Arjuna Awardee boxer who sells ice cream on road to repay his debts.
After sustaining an injury in a road accident, his father had to borrow money for his treatment. This came when his father was already burdened with a loan that he had taken to send his son to compete at the international level. Kumar, who went on to win a total of 17 gold, 1 silver, and 5 bronze medals, was later forced to become a kulfi vendor in order to repay the mounting interest on the debt.
Speaking to ANI, Kumar said: “I have played at international and national level. In my boxing career, I have won seventeen gold, one silver, and five bronze medals. My father took a loan so that I could play at international tournaments. To repay the loan, I have to sell ice-creams with my father. Neither previous nor the present government has provided any help to me. I request the government to help me in repaying the loan. I am a good player. I need a stable government job. With the government’s help, I can prepare youngsters for international events.”
Kumar’s Coach Vishnu Bhagwan also highlighted the abilities of the former boxer and urged the government to pay heed to his demands. “Dinesh was very quick as a boxer. He has won a lot of medals in the junior category but lost due to injury and is now selling kulfi (ice-cream). If Kumar is helped, he will be free from the burden of debt. If the government helps Dinesh, he will survive in future,” the coach said.