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Medal winning para-athlete Shrimant Jha to drop out of event due to lack of funds

Shrimant Jha could not arrange for the necessary Rs.1.52 lakhs to attend the tournament in Poland.

Jha
Shrimant Jha in an arm-wrestling match (Image Courtsey: Hindustan Times) 

Shrimant Jha, a differently-abled arm wrestler, has decided that he will give the Zloyt Tur Cup a miss. Going about it, the medal-winning sportsperson actually has no other option because he is simply not in a situation to arrange for the Rs.1.52 lakh that is required.

The man, born with four fingers in both hands, is supposed to represent the nation at the 16th edition of the international arm-wrestling event scheduled to be held in Poland from 18 to 22 November 2016. However, the Indian Arm-Wrestling Federation informed the players a week back that it lacked the funds to support each player individually.

‘I am alone’

This has dealt a blow to the 25-year-old's chances to participate in Poland. Speaking to the Hindustan Times, Jha lamented on how no one has come forward to help his cause. He also added that while other players are supported by sponsors he is on his own.

“I am representing the country but no one is coming forward for me. The federation is running out of funds hence every player has to arrange the money. Other players have sponsors or the state government helps them but in my case I am alone,” Jha told Hindustan Times.

The Bhilai resident managed to participate in the international para-arm wrestling tournaments in 2014 and 2015 through his own means. Jha's family had to make a lot of sacrifices but all efforts were rewarded as he won one silver and one bronze medal. The arm-wrestler has also acquired six gold medals at the national level.

Football career was overlooked due to disability

"My mother sold her jewelry in 2014 for Rs 60,000 to send me to Poland where I had won a silver for India in the world championship,” Jha said, who wanted to become a footballer as a child but was neglected because of his physical disability.

The last date for submitting all the necessary documents along with the money is 2nd November 2016 and although Jha has approached many important personalities none of the promises have born fruit. Jha is currently employed by a private company and earns Rs. 13,000 per month.

“I met the Chief Minister twice. He promised to help me but nothing was done. I don’t want assurances now; I want a government job so that I can bear my expenses,” he said.

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