How squash player Ravi Dixit's kidney auction fiasco is a cautionary tale in social media use
Social media was on fire yesterday, after 2010 Asian junior Squash champion Ravi Dixit revealed that he was going to sell his kidney to garner sponsorship for the upcoming South Asian Games. Several media outlets reported the incident as the 23-year old quoted Rs 8 lakhs for one of his kidneys. However, within hours of the Facebook post release, Dixit promptly deleted the posts, creating mass confusion within India’s evidently worried sporting fraternity.
Never wanted to sell my kidney, blew it out of proportion: Dixit
The Chennai-based squash player has now admitted to ‘blowing the situation out of proportion,’ keeping in mind his current fund crisis. He said, the statement made on social media should not have been done. I am sorry to my family members and all the governing bodies who have supported me namely The government of India (the Ministry of Youth affairs and sports; Tamil Nadu Government and Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu; SRFI; Indian Squash Academy and Dhampur Sugar Mills.”
Dixit also went onto add that he never sold his kidney, but ‘was planning on doing so, but did not’. Continuing with his apology, he said, “I am keen to pursue Squash as my career and continuously looking out for additional sponsors to meet my expenses, I never intended to sell my kidney, this statement was made at the spur of a moment for which I am truly sorry. Squash is my life and I wish to continue playing.”
I am auctioning my kidney for Rs 8 lakhs: Dixit
His initial Facebook post stated “Even after winning so many medals and representing India so many times, I do not get any support to take my squash to the national and international levels. Dhampur Sugar Mill has supported me but how long will they continue to support me? … I have not been able to arrange enough money to fund my campaign for the games. I have lost my determination.”
Several Uttar Pradesh based politicians such as Minister Moolchand Chauhan came out in support, hours after the post stating that he would talk to CM Akhilesh Yadav about it.
Apart from the junior title, he has also won several national level titles.
Currently ranked 211th in the world, Dixit reaffirmed that ‘he never intended to sell his kidney’. His father added, “Together, we will figure out a way to deal with this crisis, I funded my daughter's wedding with Ravi's winnings. Since he has to support the family as well, he cannot use much of what he gets for himself.”
For close to 12 hours, Dixit’s plea had the attention of an entire nation, only time will tell whether he can garner financial assistance for his future tournaments.