India’s Kabaddi player and World Cup hero Ajay Thakur is “surprised” by the fact that despite winning the top title in the sport of Kabaddi, his team has hardly got any recognition and has gotten even poorer financial rewards.
Thakur said that he was surprised by the fact that despite achieving the historic feat none of his teammates were given any cash prize rewards by their respective state governments.
“Firstly, never in my wildest dreams could I think of even lifting the World Cup trophy, and the sport being so popular in India. It was an amazing feeling to represent the country in front of a packed crowd, the stage was perfect. However, It was quite surprising that none of our team members were given any cash prizes by state governments and other organisations.”
He further added that the entire team has just got Rs. 10 lakhs by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) which was then divided among the 14 players and the support staff.
“The entire team was given Rs 10 lakhs by the Sports Ministry and that is it. If you divide it yourself you will realise the amount is nominal.”
He clarified that he was not looking for the team to be showered with riches, but wants to see that they are given their due and were at least celebrated.
“I am not saying that we should be showered by gifts. But, sporting achievements regardless of the sport should be celebrated,”
What must be noted, is the fact that the Kabbadi achievement comes just months after India’s 2016 Olympic heroes PV Sindhu and Sakshi Malik were showered with hefty cash rewards both by their respective state governments and almost by every state in the country who felicitated their triumph by rewarding them with cash.
While this was India’s third World Cup title in a row, it was no easy feat as they had to survive a stiff challenge from Iran in the finals to win the cup.
The final in fact is considered one of the most exciting matches that people witnessed during this World Cup.
The Indians were trailing in the first half of the match and came from behind in the second half and overturned the deficit with a superb performance.
India, in the end, won the final match 38-29 to retain their cup .
What is most shocking about this situation is the fact that it is the experienced Thakur who is complaining about the apathy.
One must note that Thakur was named ‘Top Raider’ of this World Cup and had played a crucial role for India’s in winning the cup with his raiding prowess.