Thumbs up, from Limba to Usha | other | Hindustan Times
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Thumbs up, from Limba to Usha

Limba Ram has always had a hand-to-mouth existence. One of the country's best-known archers, the tribal from Rajasthan who represented India in three Olympics and narrowly missed a medal in Barcelona, Limba was virtually homeless till about a few months back, writes Khurram Habib.

other Updated: Jul 29, 2009 01:31 IST
Khurram Habib

Limba Ram has always had a hand-to-mouth existence. One of the country's best-known archers, the tribal from Rajasthan who represented India in three Olympics and narrowly missed a medal in Barcelona, Limba was virtually homeless till about a few months back.

Now national coach, Limba is happy at the annual grant for indigent sportpersons being increased to Rs 2 lakh.

“It is a very good piece of news. Although I don't think it is enough, it is certainly good news. I know of an archer who participated in the 1998 Asian Games, but whose career was cut short by injury. Most archers come from ordinary backgrounds,” Limba said.

Another archer, Jharkhand's Mangal Singh Champia, said indigent allowance apart, money should also be given to poor sportspersons in need of costly equipment. “I know how difficult it is to come up from an ordinary background. We have to buy equipment, which costs a lot and we often find our salaries and stipends being used up in buying them,” said Champia who was the lone Indian archer in the men's category at the Beijing Olympics.

Former hockey star Aslam Sher Khan said: “I remember long back there was a report about Jagjit Singh — medal winner at the 1964 Tokyo Olympics — willing to auction his medal. We raised the issue in Parliament and the government decided to introduce a pension scheme. Something is always better than nothing but I would like more assistance.”

PT Usha too felt that the move is “highly commendable”. “They sacrifice everything for the sake of the country. So it is the duty of the government to support those peoples who are getting old,” she said.