Promising Jharkhand archer Sonu Khatoon's dream of emulating her champion Deepika Kumari was shattered when her bow broke a couple of years ago, but an intervention by the state government has given her a chance to dream again.
The 18-year-old, a bronze medal winner in the Under-17 category of the 2011 National Schools Games, was forced to sell vegetables on the streets of Dhanbad to survive.
Chief Minister Hemant Soren's intervention helped the archer get ₹20,000 from Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Amit Kumar on Wednesday.
"The chief minister was informed through a video that showed Sonu Khatoon, who received several medals in archery at the national level, selling vegetables for her subsistence," a statement from the Chief Minister's Office said.
The chief minister, it said, asked the Dhanbad deputy commissioner to provide necessary assistance to Sonu Khatoon following which she was provided immediate financial assistance.
"Today, she was given a cheque for ₹20,000 as support. The district administration will extend all possible support in future," the statement said.
Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Amit Kumar informed the chief minister that Sonu Khatoon was unable to pursue her sport after her bow broke. She could not get a replacement as she struggles to earn a living by selling vegetables on the streets of Dhanbad, he said.
Saying it was painful to see the young archer selling vegetables for a living, Mr Soren said, "The state government is taking all measures to map (search) talented sportspersons and ensure that they get linked to all facilities and opportunities."
Dhanbad District Archery Association Secretary, Juber Alam said Sonu Khatoon won a bronze at the 2011 National Schools Games.
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