National hockey player Neha sells street food to support family at Hamirpur

National hockey player Neha sells street food to support family at Hamirpur

National-level hockey player Neha works at her food stall, along with her sister, in Hamirpur.

Dinesh Kanwar

Hamirpur, November 21

Neha, a national-level hockey player, is waging a grim battle. After her father fell sick about a year ago, she has been forced to sell street food to feed her family.

Chander Singh, Neha’s father, was a fish seller. The family now lives in a makeshift tin shed here. Neha was selected by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) due to her excellent hockey skills while she was in Class VIII. She has represented the state twice in junior national hockey championship and has won silver medal once. She had also represented Panjab University, Chandigarh, in weightlifting in the National University Games.

Neha said her family was sleeping on empty stomach after her father fell sick. She had no other choice but to resort to selling fast food to support her family.

Her younger brother, Ankush, is studying in a government school and sister Nikita is in the Government Degree College here. Nikita also helps her sister at her stall in the evening, the player stated.

Neha said they were allotted about 80 square metre land in Ward No. 10 but the file for grant of funds for the construction of a house was gathering dust in government offices. Despite having played three national games and winning a silver medal, she had no hope for a job. She rued that she was not able to practice much but had played some matches as the team organisers paid Rs 1,500 per tournament.

Kishori Lal, executive officer, said the matter was in the knowledge of the Municipal Council. A request to release funds for the house, under Prime Minister Awas Yojna, was sent to the Director, urban development. “We are expecting funds for the family of Chander Singh soon,” he added.

Family lives in tin shed

The family now lives in a makeshift tin shed here. Neha was selected by the Sports Authority of India (SAI) due to her excellent hockey skills while she was in Class VIII. She has represented the state twice in junior national hockey championship and has won silver medal once. She had also represented Panjab University, Chandigarh, in weightlifting in the National University Games.

Tribune Shorts


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