Sports ministry comes in aid of distressed national wushu champion Shiksha

Shiksha had to work as a farm labourer to feed her family after facing severe financial distress due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

By Utathya Nag

Indian sports minister Kiren Rijiju has sanctioned financial aid for Haryana-based national wushu champion Shiksha to help her fend off her financial troubles amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

A 24-time state wushu championship gold medal winner, Shiksha fell into severe financial crisis due to the ongoing pandemic, forcing her to take up work as a farm labourer to make ends meet.

The 22-year-old is also pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in sports science in Rohtak but her predicament was also becoming a detriment to her education.

“I don’t have words to thank the sports minister for his noble gesture and sending across Rs five lakh at a time like this,” Shiksha said.

The tough times

Shiksha, whose parents also work as part-time labourers under the government’s rural employment scheme, spent her time sowing paddy in nearby farms. She earned Rs 200 to 300 a day.

“My parents have sacrificed everything to bring me here. Unfortunately, due to the pandemic things were brought to a standstill, my training got stopped and I had to take up manual labour and support my parents,” she revealed.

Eager to make country proud

Having got some financial relief through the government’s Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for sportspersons, Shiksha is eager to restart her training. 

“I am absolutely determined to get back to my training at the earliest. I promise everyone that within a year, I will win a gold medal for the country,” Shiksha said.

Apart from wushu, Shiksha is also an accomplished kickboxer and has won two gold medals and a bronze medal at All-India Inter-University Kickboxing championships.