Kho kho captain strikes gold, lands in penury

NEW DELHI: When she struck gold at South Asian Games (SAG) in 2019, Nasreen, the 23-year-old Indian captain of the kho kho team, felt that fortunes would favour her family. But the joy of the victory was short lived.
The Covid-19 pandemic brought despair for Nasreen and her family. She landed a contractual job with Airports Authority of India (AAI) last year, but she’s been unable to go to work because of the lockdown. She had written to AAI about her condition and some funds were released, but that wasn’t enough for the family of 13.
Her father, Mohammad Gafoor, who used to sell steel utensils in Jahangirpuri, was left with nothing when the lockdown restrictions were put in place. “He was fending for us seven sisters and four brothers. The lockdown has forced him to stay at home resulting in financial crisis for our family,” said Nasreen.
“The kho kho federation helped get my sister treated when she got really sick, but it was not enough,” said Nasreen.
The family is currently short of rations. With no source of income, life is turning worse for them with each passing day. “I’m planning to approach Delhi government. My appeals have now been circulated on social media,” the kho kho player said.
Her pleas were heard by Old Delhi-based Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA), known for running a library in Matia Mahal. The organisation, which provides free books and holds special classes for girl students, reached out to Nasreen’s family.
DYWA member Abu Sufyan said, “When we went to her house to give rations, we found the family living in a very poor condition. We also found out that there other Good Samaritans who had heard about Nasreen’s plight and wanted to help her family. We collected some money and gave it to her.”
Mohammad Naeem, another DYWA member who had gone to Nasreen’s home on March 24, said, “We were worried about Nasreen’s health as she is a sportsperson and requires a good diet. Seeing that she wasn’t getting any help, DYWA members and a few anonymous donors collected a considerable sum to help the family tide over the crisis.”

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