Asha Roy, one of India’s rising athletes back in 2011 was thrown to the brink of poverty just a year after she picked up two Gold medals in the 100m and 200m events of the Open National Athletics 2011.
Roy, who had clocked 24.33 seconds in 200 meters event and 11.80 seconds in the 100 meters was unable to get a job for over a year, despite the fact that she won so many laurels for her state (Bengal).
Her situation made her one of the hundreds of promising athletes across India who are not given their due.
Roy had created history in 2011 by winning consecutive golds at the National Open meet, but despite the fact she was not even offered a job.
She became a victim of Bengal politics when her father, who is a farmer, lost his land in the infamous Singur Tata Motors deal.
Her father had to take up selling vegetables to make ends meet and Asha almost gave up sports so as to help her family.
Asha thanks her first coach Prabir Chandra, who helped her out during that time.
“Had Chandra sir not been there, I could not have continued. My parents often pressed me to leave athletics and start earning. Chandra used to help me regularly by arranging breakfast for me everyday. He had even regularly given money to my father.”
A lot of fake promises regarding jobs were made with few Kolkata-based companies even approaching her to join them, but none followed up on their promise.
Between January 2011 and February 2012, Roy had almost decided to quit the game and join her father when South Eastern Railways salvaged her dream and offered Roy a job in the Railways.
Asha joined her office in February 2012 and once again started to prove her mettle by winning the 200 meters gold in the second Indian Grand Prix championship.
In the process, she even improved her previous best of 24.33 seconds in the 200 meters and set a new meet record of 24.23 seconds.