Sports Ministry sanctions financial help for Asiad champion kabaddi player

The assistance has been sanctioned under the new joint initiative with the Indian Olympic Association to support former athletes and coaches during the pandemic.

Former Asian Games kabaddi gold medallist V. Tejaswini Bhai has been sanctioned Rs 2 lakh from the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for sportspersons on Friday.

Tejaswini and her husband had contracted COVID-19 on May 1. While she recovered at home, her husband, Naveen, passed away on May 11.

Tejaswini, who led the Indian team and was with South Central Railway before moving to Karnatak, won gold in the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games. She won the Arjuna award in 2011.

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The financial assistance is covered under the joint initiative by the Sports Authority of India, Indian Olympic Association and the MYAS to support ex-international athletes
and coaches amid ongoing Covid-19.

“Naveen was just 30 but he was panicking a lot after the death of his father. It was the fear and stress that took his life,” Tejaswini mentioned in the Sports Authority of India media release today.

“I was not expecting this but the Sports Ministry, SAI and IOA took very prompt action to take this decision of giving us the assistance,” she said about the financial help.

“This is the first time that we have been given such support. Many people like us have financial problems and if we get the proper help, it feels good,” she said.

Tejaswini informed that she came to know about the initiative from the Karnataka Sports committee member and former Arjuna Awardee Mr Honnaappa Gowda and now wants to invest the money to safeguard the future of her child.

“I have to take care of my five-month-old baby and also invest on her future from this money. I am the only parent now and will have to do something for my child,” Tejaswini said.

For his part, her former Railways coach Dhanam Reddy from Hyderabad also expressed gratitude to the Union Sports Ministry, IOA and the SAI for the “wonderful gesture”.

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