Rishu Mittal is a state boxing champion from Haryana. She is all of 16 and won the Gold medal in the 46 kg category in September 2014. She represented Haryana in the national championships held in Gwalior in December last year.
So if you think that Rishu will be India’s next Mary Kom, you have every reason to do so. But there is a very high chance that you could be wrong.
Instead of gloves, the 16-year-old girl from Kaithal practices with a broom in her hand. She works as a housemaid to earn a living.
Hailing from an impoverished family, Rishu cannot even afford two square meals a day. A professional boxer must consume a protein-rich diet, the cost of which is beyond her scope.
A talent of Rishu’s calibre will go to waste because she cannot afford the daily diet needed by a boxer.
Any Olympic-level athlete needs a protein-rich diet of a minimum 5000 calories per day. The world’s greatest Olympian Michael Phelps followed a 12000-calorie-per-day diet.
The usual public reaction will involve criticizing the government for its inability to nurture and support sporting talent in the country. But what are our crorepati cricketers and the rich sporting bodies doing? What are our billionaire corporate houses doing? What are we, who do not think twice before splurging on the latest gadget, doing? This is why a billion plus population fails to dominate the Olympics.