Shiksha, a national Wushu champion from Haryana, has been handed ₹5 lakh by Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju to help her tide with the severe financial distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The 22-year-old Shiksha, who won 24 gold medals at the State Wushu Championship, had to quit her training and take up a job as a farm labourer to support her family.

Shikha was sanctioned the money through the Pandit Deen Dayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for sportspersons. She thanked Rijiju for his gesture and said she was determined to be back to training “at the earliest.”

ALSO READ | Haryana to host Khelo India Youth Games in 2021

“I don’t have words to thank the Sports Minister for his noble gesture and sending across ₹5 lakhs at a time like this. I am absolutely determined to get back to my training at the earliest and it’s so good to see such a proactive minister who cares for the athletes. I promise everyone that within a year, I will win a gold medal for the country,” Shiksha, who is also pursuing her B. Sc. in sports science, said.

“My main ambition is to win gold for the country, my parents have sacrificed everything to bring me here. Unfortunately due to the pandemic things were brought to a standstill, my training got stopped and I had to take up manual labour and support my parents. However once all this ends, I want to return to training because winning gold for the country is my ultimate aim,” she said.