Crushing poverty has forced national medal winner karate player Bimla Munda (26) to sell hadia (rice beer) to eke out a living in the outskirts of Ranchi as she waits for a government job for which she has been elected.
Munda had brought several laurels for Jharkhand. She was a silver medalist at the 34th National Games in 2011 in Jharkhand. She had started coaching classes to train budding karatekas in February this year for her livelihood. But she had to shut it down in March due to the lockdown in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic.
“I had to shut the coaching after a month due to the lockdown. So I have no option but to sell hadia for livelihood,” said Bimla who was also a gold medalist at Bollywood star Akshay Kumar 4th International Kudo Championship in 2012.
A commerce graduate Bimla stays with her 84-year-old maternal grandfather at Patragonda village in Ranchi’s Kanke block. Her parents live in Sagrampur village in the same block.
Her father Ranthu Munda, 45, is a small farmer who also used to work as a daily labourer to provide for six other members of the family including four brothers and sisters of Bimla. “But my father’s health is not good now. So, he doesn’t go out for labourer’s jobs,” she said.
“I have been living with my grandfather since childhood. My grandfather retired before 2000 when Jharkhand was not separated from Bihar. He gets pension around Rs 6,000 a month but most of his pension amount goes into his medicine,” she added.
“I sell hadia at my home in the village. Average 70-80 glass of hadia is sold every day. Each glass costs Rs 4. The money I earn from selling hadia goes on buying household needs,” said Bimla, gold medalist of All India Karate Open Championship in 2015 and Federation Cup organized by All India Karate-Do Federation in 2019,.
She claimed that she is among 33 players, who have been selected for Jharkhand government’s direct job scheme for sportspersons but she is yet to receive the appointment letter.
“I applied for the direct job scheme in 2019, while verification was done in February this year. We were told that we would get a job by March. But, we are still waiting for the appointment letter,” she said.
When sports secretary Puja Singhal was contacted, she said, “They would get their jobs in a month.”
Meanwhile, Jharkhand chief minister Hemant Soren took cognizance of Bimla’s condition. In a tweet on Sunday, Soren asked Ranchi deputy commission to provide the player all possible help in coordination of sports secretary.
“When our upcoming sports policy will come into effect, the future of players will change,” he said in a tweet.
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