Money is still a topic that is hardly broached in the Rampal household in Shahbad Markanda, the nursery of Indian hockey. And it is understood why.
Rampal, father of India’s biggest name in Indian women’s hockey Rani was a cart puller and could hardly support his daughter’s passion for the game. So much so, providing her a pouch of milk daily was to be a big problem.
Those struggling years, while she was taking baby steps at the Shahbad Hockey Academy under coach Baldev Singh, has left a mark on Rani.
“We were very poor, so the only thing on my mind was how not to spent on anything and just to save. I saved whatever prize money or cash prizes I used to get. The one and only dream that I had was to construct a house for my family,” Rani recalls.
That dream is about to be fulfilled. Her home is under construction in Shahbad. “Highway ke pas ban raha hai humara ghar (our house is being built near the highway),” she says. The house will be done by this year end.
Rani, who made her debut as a 14-year-old, and had been a senior international for over seven years now, started to spent money on things other than necessities only from two-three years now.
“Everybody in the family knew how I liked to own a gold chain. But because we had no money and my R12000 job in Railways did not allow me to spent on anything so I had to keep my wishes in check,” she says.
But things changed after 2013. Indian team won the bronze medal in the Junior World Cup and as well finished third place in Asia Cup that was held in Kuala Lumpur.
“We got rewarded for those results. And I am thankful of the Haryana Government if not for them, my dream wouldn’t have come anywhere close of getting realised,” she says.
And her love of gold chain too. “I told my mother, I can’t wait any longer and I bought a gold chain for myself and a pair of gold earrings for my mother,” she says.
This was the first time ever that the star had spent this large amount of money in one single go.
“We are doing alright now. I have been employed as a coach with SAI and my salary is alright now. But this doesn’t mean I’ll become reckless. I’ll keep on saving for my later years when I stop playing.”