Table tennis star Sharath Kamal has donated the prize money he got after winning his 10th national title to the bereaved family of Vishwa Deendayalan, the 18-year-old paddler who died in a road accident on his way to Shillong from Guwahati last month. Vishwa's sudden death felt like a personal loss to the Indian great Sharath, who would often practice with the teenager in Chennai. Vishwa, too, was heading to the nationals in Shillong when he met with a fatal car accident. By donating his prize money of Rs 2.75 lakh, the 39-year-old has tried to do his "bit" for Vishwa's parents, and plans to raise more money with the help of current and former players.
"I don't know if it (the prize money) will be enough or not but this is my bit for the kid. He was their only son. This is my way to show respect to the family. I will try to support the family as much as I can. His father has also lost his job during the lockdown. "I have also spoken to coaches and fellow players on how to help his family. Some of them have come forward and I said 'let's try and help them'. I hope many more will come forward too," Sharath, who had also dedicated his national title to the rising star last month, told PTI.
The mood at the senior nationals had turned sombre once the news of Vishwa's death reached the venue. Prime Minister Narendra Modi was among many who condoled his untimely death. President of the suspended Table Tennis Federation of India, Dushyant Chautala, has already announced Rs five lakh for the bereaved family. Vishwa had won many medals at the national and international level. In January, he rose to prominence by winning the U-19 national ranking title in Dehradun.