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Archery

Padma Shri winner Limba Ram in dire need of funds for serious neurological problem

Ram achieved considerable success in his career that started from 1987, when he became the National Champion at a Junior Archery Tournament. He went on to represent India at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.

Padma Shri winner Limba Ram in dire need of funds for serious neurological problem
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By

Sarah Waris

Published: 26 Feb 2020 12:04 PM GMT

Former Arjuna Awardee and Padmi Shri recipient, archer Limbai Ram, is in dire need of funds after being affected by a severe neurological problem for the last four years. The 48-year old is a three time Olympian, but he has been left to fend for himself with little help from the government. Despite bringing the sport fame in his heyday, Ram is now struggling to collect money for his treatment, with the hospital authorities asking the former sportsman and his family to present an identification Olympic card to prove that he indeed represented India at the grand stage.

Ram has been affected with an issue on the right side of his brain that hinders his movement, and he is also a diabetes patient. He currently lives at Sports Authority of India’s hostel in New Delhi, and though the Rajasthan state sports council gives him a monthly salary, most of it is spent in rent and his medicines.

His wife Jenny has come forward and urged the Sports Ministry to set up sports hospitals for the former athletes, so they can be ensured of a proper treatment long after their playing days are over. Ram, who does not get pension, was recently seen standing in a long queue at the GB Pant Hospital at New Delhi before his regular check-up, an image that is heart-breaking, to say the least, and his wife only has one request. “My only appeal is that the ones who bring respect and make India proud should be treated with a lot more dignity. The hospitals are asking for an Olympian Card, and a Medical Card. I request the government to give us and the other athletes a card, with which they can get treated for their illnesses without getting disrespected,” she told Jagran.

Ram achieved considerable success in his career that started from 1987, when he became the National Champion at a Junior Archery Tournament. He went on to represent India at the Seoul Olympics in 1988 after winning the Senior National Championships that year, and thus started his rise. A quarter-final appearance at the World Archery Championships in 1989 along with a second-place finish at the Asian Cup Individuals event meant that Ram soon became the toast of the nation.

His feats helped India finish fourth at the Beijing Asian Games in 1990, and equaled the world record of Takayoshi Matsushita at the Beijing Asian Archery Championships in 1992 in the 30 metres event, after scoring 357 of a possible 360 points.

He missed the bronze medal by just one point at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, and was awarded the Arjuna Award for his feats in 1991. He won the Padma Shri in 2012.

The overall treatment of the sportspersons in India long after they have hung up their boots is appalling to say the least. Kiren Rijiju has been focused on making India a sporting powerhouse in the next few years, and the first step towards that direction will not only be to groom the youngsters but to also ensure a proper livelihood for the players after their retirement.

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