Despite all that one might say, India still have some distance to go before it can boast of itself as a sporting country. While there is a sizable number of people who love sports, much of the population is restricted to watching and enjoying cricket. It is simply for this reason that witnessing the tricolour being raised high in a multi-sport event like a Commonwealth Games or an Olympic event is a rare occurrence as there are few people to look up to in other sporting disciplines in this part of the world.
That makes the achievement of some of the athletes who have made India proud in these events even more significant. This is because while cricket as a career option is becoming more and more viable, some of the other sports do not get the same recognition or even support from the government or the respective sports governing body.
The Indian contingent has already won three Gold medals at CWG 2022 and all three of them have come in the sport of Weightlifting. While Mirabai Chanu won the first gold for India, the second was bagged by Jeremy Lalrinnunga. The third was clinched by Achinta Sheuli.
Understandably, a lot of congratulatory messages have been pouring in for all these athletes. However, in a recent interview, Sheuli’s brother Alok has revealed that budding athletes would need government support to flourish. He also stated that no one knew that someone from their village had gone on to take part in the Games and even the state’s Sports Minister who is none other than cricketer Manoj Tiwary seemed ignorant.
“In 2020, state govt gave an award, nobody knows that a boy from our village participated in CWG. Even the state’s Sports minister seems ignorant, we need government support. While in other states cash money is given to athletes we are yet to see how much money will they give for it (sic),” he told news agency ANI.
Having said that, the entire village in the Howrah district of West Bengal, the place from where Achinta belongs, celebrated after he won a gold medal in the Birmingham games. So far, India have won 6 medals while also being assured of a seventh.