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Athlete living in penury, Sangrur DC promises to help her attend Malaysia event

Veerpal Kaur wishes to participate in the Asia Pacific Masters Games 2018 (APMG) to be held from September 7 to 15 at Penang in Malaysia.

punjab Updated: Jun 05, 2018 22:29 IST
Hindustan Times, Sangrur
Athlete,penury,Malaysia
Veerpal Kaur meets Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mannat on Tuesday.(HT Photo)

A 33-year-old woman athlete with several gold medals in different tournaments lives in a one-room house with her eight-year-old son and handicapped husband at Safipur Kalan village of Sangrur.

She wishes to participate in the Asia Pacific Masters Games 2018 (APMG) to be held from September 7 to 15 at Penang in Malaysia. And for that, she gets up early morning to practice in the fields of her neighbour. However, the low point of her life is that she had failed to arrange Rs 61,000 as entry fee for the games.

The athlete in question here goes by the name of Veerpal Kaur, a graduate who bagged gold in 200-metre race in the National Master Games organised by Masters Games Federation at Chandigarh from April 2 to April 7 this year. She also won the first position in 100-metres (by covering the distance in 14.2 seconds) at INDO-Bangladesh Master Athletics Meet held at New Delhi February 14 to 16, 2018.

Veerpal married Gurnaib Singh, now 40-year-old, in 2004 and she had to leave her games post marriage. Amid acute poverty, she again began practicing in 2017 and participated in the first National Master Games this year and returned with a gold medal.

“I have won total 11 medals, including gold and silver, in long jump, 100-metre and 400-metre races in Punjab and Delhi. I want to participate in the APMG under 400 and 200-metre races but I am not able to arrange the entry fee of Rs 61,000,” said Veerpal.

“I live in a one-room house that doesn’t even have a kitchen. The toilet we have, was also built recently. My husband works as a watchman and I work as a cook at an Anganwadi centre. I cannot even afford proper diet for my game. It is impossible for me to arrange Rs 61,000 to go to Malaysia,” she said.

On Tuesday, Veerpal met Sangrur MP Bhagwant Mann, who brought her to deputy commissioner (DC) Ghanshyam Thori for financial assistance. “The woman is running from pillar to post to arrange expenses for her game. We should see her sprite and enthusiasm. I could arrange some financial support from NRIs but it is not a solution to the problem. The state government should help such players,” said Mann.

Later, Thori confirmed to Hindustan Times that the administration was arranging funds for her and provide her support. “We will give her Rs 60,000 to support her,” the DC said.

First Published: Jun 05, 2018 22:24 IST