‘A shot in the arm’ - Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh’s financial boost to its athletes

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren and Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan announced the schemes

By Samrat Chakraborty ·

Aspiring athletes from India’s Jharkhand and Madhya Pradesh have received heartening news on the turn of the new year, with the two-state governments declaring their intentions to support promising athletes financially.

The Jharkhand Government, to mark the completion of one year in office, announced a new sports policy wherein they declared their intention to financially assist athletes who are capable of shining at the international level.

Jharkhand Chief Minister Hemant Soren has offered this assistance to five promising archers from the state.

Krishna Pingua (16), Jagarnath Gagrai (18), Asmita Biruli (20) and Gunaram Purty (23), all national-level athletes who have won laurels in the Khelo India and other related tournaments, are the archers who will receive the aid of INR 2.5 lakh from the state government.

Jharkhand, known as a hotspot for archery in the country, will also provide promising 18-year-old archer Komalika Bari INR 2.7 lakh under this scheme.

Bari is one of the hottest young prospects in archery in the country. In 2019, she became only the second Indian woman recurve archer to clinch a world title when she won gold at the World Youth Archery Championships in Madrid, beating Japan's Waka Sonoda.

She just about missed out on a berth to Tokyo earlier this year in the Olympic trials but will now hope to step up her training with assistance from the government.

Madhya Pradesh, on the other hand, have also declared that star athletes from the state will be supported financially. Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chauhan detailed the government’s sports budget while announcing the annual state sports award on Wednesday.

Madhya Pradesh sports minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia said, “Madhya Pradesh is one of the leading states of India in the field of sports. Our sports budget was INR 5 crore in 2006, today it is more than INR 150 crore. Even in the future, there will be no shortage of funds.”

The minister highlighted Aishwary Pratap Singh Tomar and Chinki Yadav, products of the Madhya Pradesh state shooting academy, as examples to follow for aspiring sportspersons in the state.

Aishwary and Chinki have already qualified for the Tokyo Olympics next year. Chinki sealed her spot in Tokyo after finishing second in the qualification round of 2019 Asian Shooting Championships (Doha) in the 25m air pistol event.

Aishwary won the bronze medal in the 50m rifle three positions event at the 2019 Asian Shooting Championships to book his ticket to Tokyo.