Pursuing sports as a full-time career is not easy in India, especially for those who come from middle-class or lower-class backgrounds. With cricket being the most sought-after sport in the country, other sports and the people associated with them merely get any attention. While cricketers live in lavish bungalows and travel in luxury cars, a former national-level archer has to sell tea to survive.
Deepti, a former archer who has won multiple medals at different levels and belongs to Jharkhand has to run a tea stall to survive. It has been a long time since she hung her bow and quit archery but no one has even bothered to ask what happened. Now, finally, when Deepti was approached by a local news channel, she opened up on the issues she faced and how she gave up after trying everything at her disposal.
“I am selling tea because of my financial state. I started archery in 2006 but had to quit in 2012 as I could not even afford a bow. I possess a bow made from bamboo and also played two national-level matches with that but once it broke, I could not buy a new one,” Deepti told News11.
When asked if she sought help from any government officials, she recalled meeting Sukhdev Bhagat who promised to do something, but it did not happen. When asked about her parents, the former archer revealed that her mother has problems with her kidney and she is selling tea to repay the loan she borrowed for her mother’s medical expenses.
While Deepti holds no grudge towards anyone, there are many villains in her story. The government officials who ignored her and the fans of other sports as well who pay no heed to such athletes and focus only on famous names.