It is very hard to imagine an athlete leaving any sports due to factors beyond their control. One such story is of national boxing champion Manoj Kumar of Punjab who is sweeping streets in Sangrur to meet his daily needs.
Manoj Kumar who has won 24 gold medals with 17 of them coming at state level and seven of them coming at national level representing Punjab is ignored in his own state by authorities and government.
"I have been completely ignored by the previous government and officials. I have reached out to the authorities and officers multiple times but no one paid any heed. I am forced to sweep roads due to my family responsibilities," the 30-year-old told Punjab Kesari.
Talking further about his problem, Manoj said," If I had got a job on time, I would have continued with boxing and brought in more laurels for Punjab. I have to support my family because there is no one to earn."
Manoj who earns Rs.7500 per months is not able to focus on his diet and he has been away from the boxing for years now due to his financial problems.
Request to CM and Government
The boxer has requested his state CM Bhagwant Mann and the AAP government to provide a job to him and others like him, so that more players don't succumb to the financial demon.
Usually state governments award a government job to the athletes winning at national level but Manoj who won the gold medal in 52 Kg category at first Elite Men's national boxing championship at Nagpur has been running doors to get his due.
This is not the first time Punjab government is under scanner for not providing athletes their due. In November 2022, a group of 25 para-athletes protested against the government to bring parity in jobs.