Haryana is the only state in India whose athletes have time and against topped the medal chart – be it Olympics, Asiad or the Commonwealth Games. And this is solely the reason that Haryana’s policy for the athletes is considered a prime example for the entire nation. This time around though, questions have been raised over these blueprints as one of the 2010 Asian Games medalists is forced to selling kulfis on the street of Haryana.
This is about a 30-year-old boxer Dinesh Kumar, who has won several medals for India in across national and international scale, including a silver in 2010 Asian Games. Time, however, hasn’t been fair on him as he is now forced to sell kulfis. According to Dinesh himself, he has made 23 different medals including 17 Gold, 1 Silver and 5 Bronze on various scales. And to add to his glory, he has also been honoured with Arjuna Award for his contributions to boxing.
The 30-year-old boxer comes from a humble background as his father had to take several loans for his boxing training. A tragedy, however, struck when he once met with a severe road accident and his father was forced to debenture more money for his treatment. After his injury, Dinesh’s boxing career was almost over.
Dinesh told the news agency ANI, “Right now, I have no hope that the government will provide me with monetary aid or employment. None of the political parties that have been in power since my accident have found me worth helping. I want to let the government know that I am wasting away here even though I am still a good sportsperson. I want to help my family pay off the debts they accumulated trying to further my career and then get back into the boxing ring.”
Despite all the hardships he is facing right now, he hasn’t kept himself away from the sport as he is mentoring young children to help them achieve their dreams. “Many of the children I mentored have reached the international arena,” he said, adding that he does not charge any fee from his pupils.
Dinesh’s coach Vishnu Bhagwan said, “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.”