Lack of sponsors forces squash gold medallist to offer kidney for sale
Squash champion Ravi Dixit, a gold medallist in the 2010 Asian junior championships, has offered one of his kidneys for sale on social media to fund his participation in next month’s South Asian Games and subsequent tournaments.
The 23-year-old player from Dhampur in Uttar Pradesh took the drastic step after he was unable to find a sponsor and posted the offer online — a kidney for Rs 8 lakh. His offer immediately found traction and triggered outrage on Facebook and Twitter.
“I need at least Rs 1 lakh to participate in the South Asian Games but have not been able to find any sponsor. So, I have decided to sell by kidney for Rs 8 lakh so that I can participate in other tournaments as well for the rest of the year,” Dixit told Hindustan Times from Chennai where he is currently preparing for the South Asian Games.
Dixit has been playing squash for the past 10 years and is one of the four players selected for the Games in Guwahati. He said he depends on prize money to meet his training needs.
One of his Facebook posts, which was later deleted, said: “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.”
Other than the gold at the Asian junior championships, Dixit has won many national and international laurels.
He has been getting financial support from Dhampur Sugar Mill, where his father is a class IV employee, but it is not enough for him to support his career.
“It is difficult for us to support the family solely on my husband’s income. The mill has been very generous in its support to Ravi’s career but we are too embarrassed to ask for more help,” his mother, Sarvesh, said thanking the company for its support.
After Dixit offered to sell his kidney, some politicians in UP have now come forward to help the player.
Minister Moolchand Chauhan said he would talk to the family and take up the matter with chief minister Akhilesh Yadav. “I am surprised that such a talented player is auctioning his kidney. All possible help will be given to him,” he said.
BJP leader and a former MLA Ashok Kumar Rana also assured the player of help.