In a bid to ease the financial burden on the family of deceased Manipuri footballer Laishram Manitombi Singh, the Sports Ministry announced the sanctioning of ₹5 lakh towards the family on Friday. Singh had passed away at the young age of 39 in August, after battling a prolonged illness.
As Singh was the sole earning member of his family, his untimely demise had subjected them to a dire financial crisis, especially after the family exhausted all savings on his hospitalization and treatment. Manitombi Singh is survived by his parents, his wife Ronibala, and their ten-year-old son Laishram Amal Singh. They reside in the village of Achanbigei, near Imphal City Centre.
The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, had earlier promised urgent funds for the family after his passing away in August.
Staying true to their word, the Ministry granted the funds, even though it came after a gap of three months. The process of transferring funds under the 'Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons' scheme for sportspersons started on October 27, before getting officially completed on Friday.
While the Sports Ministry's efforts were widely appreciated on social media, Kiren Rijiju wrote on Twitter that "Extending support to our athletes, past or present, is of prime importance for the Government."
Manitombi Singh has contributed significantly to Indian football: Kiren Rijiju
The Sports Ministry also appreciated Singh's vital contribution to Indian football, and added that the government is committed to helping those who have dedicated their lives to sports.
"Manitombi has contributed significantly to Indian football. He also contributed as a coach in Manipur. His demise is indeed a loss for the sporting community. When we learnt about the financial crisis that the family is facing after his death, extending support to them was a duty upon us. It is of prime importance for the Government to support all our athletes, past and present, as well as those who have dedicated their life to sport as coaches, sports administrators, support staff and in similar roles," he said.
Manitombi Singh left behind a distinguished career as a player and coach. The 39-year-old once captained Mohun Bagan, and also represented India in a couple of international tournaments in 2002. He also featured in Manipur's maiden success in the Santosh Trophy.
Manitombi Singh's most significant achievement that year was that he was a part of the LG Cup-winning team in Vietnam which was led by Bhaichung Bhutia. He also represented India at the Asian Games in Busan that same year. Upon retirement, Manitombi Singh took to grooming the next generation of talent from Manipur as a coach.Published 06 Nov 2020, 22:06 IST