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National-level karate champion struggles with medical bills in her fight against cancer

177   //    29 Dec 2017, 15:09 IST


Priyanka (Photo: Indian Express)

What's the Story?

Four-time karate nationals gold medal winner Priyanka is now fighting a losing battle against blood cancer. 18-year-old Priyanka was diagnosed with Leukemia last year. Her mother has been funding the treatment for the disease so far. But with insufficient funds, it is next to impossible for her mother to continue with the treatment.

Priyanka's family is currently living in a room provided to them at the campus of Indra Public School in New Shakti Nagar of Ludhiana, a charitable school set up for poor children, which also provides compulsory martial arts training for all girls.

In case you didn't know...

Priyanka has not only won medals in Karate, she has also won medals in Taekwondo as well. She is a three-time state gold medallist in Taekwondo, apart from the four state gold medals she won in Karate.

Heart of the Matter

Priyanka is the second youngest amongst her seven sisters. Her mother is a factory worker and earns a meagre Rs 5,000 per month. Priyanka's father has not contributed a penny towards her treatment and with her mother running out of funds, things look grim.

The situation is so bad that the family does not even have money to afford eggs and fruits, prescribed by the doctors. She needs a protein-rich diet in order to bear the treatment.

Priyanka's last treatment is a bone marrow transplant which will cost Rs 20-25 lakh. Her mother and her sisters are running out of options and the only way out is for the government to help.

What's Next?

A four-time national gold medallist should not be in a state that Priyanka is. It is the duty of the sports ministry to approach the government regarding Priyanka's treatment. India's underprivileged sportspersons often bear the brunt when such medical situations arise.

Author's Take

An international athlete should be treated in the same way irrespective of the sport he or she plays. Priyanka was due to represent India at the Malaysian Championship last year when her disease was diagnosed. The government should have borne the full cost of the treatment. The least it can do now is support Priyanka and compensate her for the money her mother and sisters have spent till now.

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