Dilraj Kaur- popularly known as one of India’s first international level para shooter- is now forced to sell chips at the roadside to make a living.
Now 34, she has a hard time making ends meet. Her troubles started in 2019. First, her father died after a prolonged illness. Then after the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, her brother soon followed.
She now sells biscuits and chips from a roadside stall near Gandhi Park in Dehradun. “I thought there will be some light in my house because I have won medals for India but maybe that wasn’t to be. When it was the country’s need I was there, but now when I am in need there is no one,” said Kaur.
Dilraj said that she has received no help from Uttarakhand’s para-shooting community. She mentioned that she had asked for a government job based on the sports quota. “I have appealed for a job on the basis of my achievement in sports several times but nothing has happened,” she said.
She is a certified coach, has a law degree and wants a job.
The Uttarakhand Sports Minister office claimed that they had no idea about her condition. “The matter hasn’t come to us yet and if the concerned athlete approaches us then we will address her issues according to the government guidelines,” they have responded.
Kaur is considered one of the best para air pistol shooters in the country at one point, She has won over two dozen national and international titles over the course of her career.
By Ankita Mohanty