Para-athlete resorts to begging, says MP CM's promised help never came

Manmohan Singh Lodhi has medals around his neck and a begging bowl by his side, and hopes that one day, promises made to him would be fulfilled.

Para-athlete resorts to begging, says MP CM's promised help never came
ANI Photo

Politicians in India generally tend to have a strange relationship with sportspersons who bring laurels to the country. When medals are won, promises are made galore. As time passes though, the promises are often - and conveniently - forgotten. This may have what happened with the assurances given to national-level para-sprinter Manmohan Singh Lodhi who can now be found hobbling as he begs for alms.

A para-athlete from Narsinghpur in Madhya Pradesh, Lodhi won several medals at the national level. He claims that when he won the medals, he was assured of a government job and several other rewards. He recently told news agency ANI that he even met the state CM on four occasions to remind him of the promises but nothing has been done about them. Left with little choice - and even lesser money, Lodhi decided to hang all his medals around his neck, wear his training jersey and take to the streets to beg. "I am financially weak. I need money to play and also to run my family. If CM doesn't help me, I will earn my livelihood by begging on the streets," he said.

Lodhi's plight is not alone as several athletes in the past have complained that when they win medals, politicians promise a lot to grab headlines but once the limelight is over, so are the assurances.

India recently put out a strong performance in Asian Games being held in Indonesia. The gold medalists, especially, have been promised monetary rewards galore by different politicians. Whether they actually get these, and how much of these, remains to be seen as alw