Thane martial arts gold medalists had to mortgage jewellery for Jakarta event
Medallist claims none of the local politicians from Kalyan-Thane showed any interest in sponsoring the triomumbai Updated: Oct 18, 2016 00:38 IST
Three women martial arts players from Thane, who represented Indian at the World games held at Indonesia last week, won three gold medals. However, the victory came at a cost. Hailing from poor to middle-class backgrounds, all three athletes had to mortgage their mothers’ jewellery to fund their tour.
Aarti Chaudhari, 29, martial arts coach along with her students Vishruti Waghmare, 16, and Siddhi Jadhav, 10, participated in the 6th TAFISA World Games Sports For All, Jakarta, Indonesia, held from October 6 to 12. All three won gold medals in Jeet Kene-do, a form of martial arts. Chaudhari won a second gold in Kabaddi, while Waghmare bagged a bronze in the same event. While Chaudhari’s father runs a paan shop, Jadhav’s father is a security guard. Waghmare’s father work’s in a small-time private firm.
Chaudhari said, “I had heard about the Jakarta tournament at another sporting event I participated in September. It was here that I enrolled our names. We got shortlisted and competed against participants from 130 countries. Our hard work paid off and we all won gold for our country.”
She added that the expense for Jakarta tour was about Rs70,000 per head, which none of them were able to afford. “We approached politicians in Kalyan and Thane for sponsorship, but none of them showed interest. All we managed to collect was just Rs20,000. With no other source to raise money from, other mothers stepped in and mortgaged their jewellery to fund our tour.”
Chaudhari said they now wish to represent India at the Asian championship to be held in Malaysia. However, lack of funds and sponsors has made participation at the event a distant dream.