Current scenario has forced them to turn to alternative sources of income
With the coronavirus holding sway, the sports industry in the country is struggling to breathe.
Raj Hazarika, who runs many sports academies in the National Capital Region, and has submitted a petition to the Union Sports Minister to support such institutes in this moment of crisis, brings to the fore the plight of many sports professionals.
Broken our backs
“The situation has broken our backs,” says Hazarika. “We have zero income. Several families depend on us. We have opened our centres with government permission, and follow all hygiene norms. Yet, there is no inflow. Due to the rising number of cases, people are afraid to step out. Therefore income is almost nil.”
Hazarika feels schemes like collateral-free loans can help sports professionals tide over the tough phase and stick to their chosen sports careers. “Some of the coaches who went back home have refused to return to work in the field of sports. E. Satyaraj, a reputed tennis coach from Chennai, is now running a South Indian food cart in Kanpur,” says Hazarika.
Aman Dev, a tennis coach from Kolkata, works in a grocery shop while Nazim Ul Islam, a tennis coach from Delhi, has fallen back on his polytechnic qualification to become a refrigerator and air-conditioning mechanic.
The list gets longer.
“K. Ramandeep, a former junior India player and a full-time coach with FC Barcelona Football School in India, has gone back to farming in Jalandhar. Siddharth Dalal, who was head coach of the Junior NBA India team two years ago, is supplying biscuits to grocery shops,” says Hazarika.
Another qualified basketball coach from Rajasthan, Vikram Singh, drives a ‘tuk-tuk’ in his hometown. The pulse of Indian sports is feeble; give it the required life support, pleads Hazarika.
Source: Read Full Article