Meet a 13-year-old national fencing player from Namakkal district who needs about Rs. 1.5 lakhs to participate in an international fencing event.
13-year-old Karunya Shanmugan from Namakkal in Tamil Nadu was elated when she won a silver medal in the National Fencing Championship in New Delhi two months ago.
Her joy increased manifold when she was told that she would be part of a contingent that represents India at the 40th International Children’s Fencing Tournament Challenge to be help on Warsaw in Poland.
But the shocker came in the form of a letter from the Fencing Association of India to the Tamil Nadu Fencing Association.
The letter stated that the total expense for participation per fencer would be around Rs. 1.50 lakhs and the expenditure would have to be borne by the fencer himself/herself or the state association. The government of India will not fund the trip, said the letter.
The cash strapped TN Fencing Association will pay for only fencers above the age of 17, says Karunya’s coach Prabhukumar.
Karunaya’s parents do not have the money to pay for all the expenditures to participate in the event to be held from March 23 to March 27, 2017.
“My husband works as a mechanic in Trichy and I work as a daily wage worker under the NREGA scheme. My husband earns about Rs. 7000 per month and I earn Rs. 135 per day. We are trying our best, but the maximum we can manage to arrange is Rs. 50,000,” says Akhila, Karunya’s mother.
“My daughter is good in the sport and I want her to become a very successful fencing player,” says Akhila.
Prabhukumar too wants his student to take part in the meet. “She has potential and can become one of the top fencing players in India in the next four years. I have been training her for the last two years. If someone helps her, it will be great,” says Prabhukumar.
Karunya has always been in love with sports and her books. Two years ago, her parents had faced a similar predicament. They did not have money to send her to a school. Just as they were despairing over it, a friend told Karunya’s father that they apply under sports quota and get admission in a school.
In 2015, she joined the Selvam Matriculation School in Namakkal district through sports quota. From then on, she was made to go through rigorous training under a coach from Sports Development Authority in Tamil Nadu. Karunya won her first medal in a fencing competition in Chennai in 2016.
Since then, there has been no looking back for Karunya.
If you wish to help Karunya, call her mother Akhila on 9597917838 or contribute here.
(Edited by Dhanya Rajendran)
Source: The News Minute