The Jharkhand government Tuesday announced financial assistance of Rs 2.5 lakh each to four state archers and Rs 2.7 lakh to a fifth archer as it launched a new sports policy to mark its first year in office.
The archers who have been offered Rs 2.5 lakh are Krishna Pingua (16), Jagarnath Gagrai (18), Asmita Biruli (20) and Gunaram Purty (23), all national level players who are unable to compete in international competitions owing to funds crunch.
“We can now compete at the international level as we can buy equipment. One day we will bring home medals from the Olympics,” said Pingua, who won bronze at the Khelo India Archery Championship in 2017 and gold at the 64th National School Championship Archery Championship in 2019.
Sitting beside Pingua at the state anniversary event being held at Morabadi Ground in Ranchi was Jagarnath Gagrai, who won two gold medals in 26th Senior National Archery Championship, 2019, organised in Cuttack, Odisha. He has been playing since 2014. Gagrai’s father is a farmer and does not have enough money to buy a ‘recurve bow’ required to compete at the international level. “We buy the ‘Indian round bow’ from Manipur that cost Rs 4,000. But a recurve bow costs more than Rs two lakh. The amount given by the Chief Minister will be a great help in achieving our dreams,” said Gagrai.
Ashrita Biruli, who comes from a family of farmers and won gold at the All Indian University Archery Championship in 2019, says she hasn’t been able to practice archery at her residence in Chaibasa district owing to lack of money. “The assistance from the state government will help me now,” she said.
Even after winning a gold medal in the All India Archery Championship and the 26th Senior National Archery Championship, Gunaram Purty was forced to take up the job of a security guard in the Chaibasa area that gets him Rs 7,000 a month. The family is in dire need of money. I had to take up the job of a security guard and play the sport whenever I get the opportunity. The help from the government means a lot. I hope to break all barriers,” said Purty.
The government also announced assistance of Rs 2.7 lakh to 18-year-old Komolika Bari, who won a gold medal in the World Youth Archery Championship, 2018. She has also been selected for the next Olympic games and is currently training in Maharashtra. Her father Ghanshyam Bari, who came to Morabadi Ground to take the cheque, said her daughter could get a bow only with help from the locals. He had a tea shop till the pandemic struck, after which he was forced to hand it over to another person. “Till now she plays on a rented bow, now she will have our own…I hope the government also gives her a job,” he said.
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