Sarita Tirkey is an international lawn bowl player who secured many podium finishes for India and Jharkhand in international and national tournaments respectively. However, such has been the tragic story of this Indian sports star that she is now carrying bricks and sand to earn a living.
With no support from the state, she is now forced to do labour-work in Ranchi. Sarita has also worked as a domestic help and even ran a tea-stall to make ends meet for her family.
Gold medallist in National Games
Hailing from a financially poor background, Sarita represented Jharkhand for the first time in 2007 during the 33rd National Games. In the next edition in 2011, she represented Bihar, winning a gold medal. She returned to Jharkhand in the 35th National Games, securing a top podium finish again.
In addition, she also won a gold medal in the National Lawn Bowl Championship in 2015 and 2017, and a silver medal in the tournament in 2018. Last year, she won a bronze medal in the Asia-Pacific Championship in Australia.
Incidentally, she is also a member of the Indian contingent which will take part in the 2020 World Outdoor Bowls Championship. And yet, she is yet to receive financial help from the state.
Sarita has been promised a total of Rs 3.72 lakh from the state, but is yet to receive the money. She also revealed that she didn't have enough money to finance a trip to Australia for the 2019 Asia-Pacific Championship, where she won a bronze medal.
She eventually received the help of Rs. 1.5 lakh from fellow players and relatives. However, with no financial assistance through cash awards and scholarships from the government, she is yet to repay those who helped her.
Sarita didn't even have the shoes to compete in the Asia-Pacific Championship, but her coach Madhukant Paathak stepped forward to help her buy playing shoes for the tournament.