Sports minister takes note of footballer’s financial struggles, says help is on way
New Delhi: Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju on Sunday said his department will soon provide financial help to footballer Sangeeta Soren, who received a national call-up last year before the COVID-19 pandemic forced her to work as a daily wage labourer to support her family.
Sangeeta, who has represented India in U-18 and U-19 tournaments in Bhutan and Thailand before being called for the senior women’s team, has been working at a brick kiln in Dhanbad’s Basamudi village.
The sports minister took note her of her struggle for survival, not long after representing the country.
“I’ve been informed about footballer Sangeeta Soren, who has represented India in international competitions, and is in a financial crisis in this pandemic. My office has contacted her & financial help will be extended soon. Ensuring a dignified life for athletes is our priority,” Rijiju tweeted.
Sangeeta received the Indian team call-up after impressing in the age-group tournaments but before her dream to play for the senior national side could take flight, the pandemic struck leading to a nationwide lockdown.
Taking note of her struggles, National Commission for Women (NCW) chairperson Rekha Sharma has written to the Jharkhand government, asking it to extend help and support to the international footballer from the state.
A copy of the NCW letter has also been sent to All India Football Federation (AIFF) president Praful Patel.
Despite the financial constraints, she has not given up on her footballing dream and looks to regularly practice at a neighbouring ground.
Help did not came the struggling Jharkahnd player’s way from any corner until the sports minister intervened.
Sangeeta’s father is visually impaired and her elder brother is struggling to find employment, having also worked in a brick kiln in the past.