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Arjuna Award winner and Paralympic gold medalist Mariyappan Thangavelu desperate for stable job to sustain family


Thangavelu after winning gold at the Rio Paralympics

Modified 30 Aug 2017

What's the story?

Indian Paralympic high jumper, Mariyappan Thangavelu was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award by President Ram Nath Kovind at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on Tuesday. This young athlete won the hearts of millions of people after he brought home the gold medal from Rio, where he took part in the 2016 Summer Paralympic games.

Despite winning the award, however, it was noticed that the young sportsman had other things on his mind that he wished to sort out. According to a report in the DailyMail, Mariyappan has been unemployed for over a period of one year since his return from Rio. Having lived off the money that he earned from the Rio games, he now wishes for nothing more than a steady job to look after his family.

In case you didn't know...

The 22-year-old youngster hails from the Salem district of Tamil Nadu and is a high jumper. He gained recognition after making the country proud by bringing home the gold medal after winning at the 2016 Summer Paralympic games that were held in Rio de Janeiro. He won in the men's high jump T-42 category with a jump record of 1.89 meters.

The heart of the matter

After having received the Arjuna Award, Mariyappan said that his thoughts were focused on the betterment of his family with the Rs 5 lakh prize money that he received with the award.

He had won a sum of Rs 3 crores after his exploits in Rio and the youngster bought his mother land so that she could use it for growing rice, while the rest was created into a fixed deposit. On seeing his mother sell vegetables for the past one year, however, he decided that he wanted more from life in order to sustain his home.

He stated that he desperately needed a job and was willing to commit himself to any desk job provided by the Tamil Nadu government. He said that he had sought help from the chief minister but has heard of no positive results as yet.


What's next?

Mariyappan is consistent with his training and is now focused on the upcoming Asian Games in Jakarta next year. After the Asian Games, he wishes to win the gold medal in 2020's Summer Olympics in Tokyo.

Author's take

Despite his brilliance as a sportsman, Mariyappan's dedication towards the financial betterment of his family is inspirational. Here's hoping that the youngster is able to settle into a job and continue his athletic stint for the country successfully.

Published 30 Aug 2017, 12:25 IST
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