Indian gold medalist child athelete works as maid

Is a State level gold medal not enough for Haryana government to do something for the girl child athlete working as domestic help? This is one of the reasons India returns with those dismal tallies at Olympics.

Rishu Mittal’s accomplishments at a tender age are not less. When mothers of most 10th standard girls in India comb their daughter’s hair, iron their school uniforms, and pack those lunch boxes, this teen washes vessels at others homes to earn her school fees. She has to. Her parents are no more. Her brother cannot support her education with his meager earnings. Rishu has been working since the last 3 years and is now 16 years old!Rishu_Boxing_Screengrab_0_0

There are laws against child labor in the country, but they remain on paper most of the time. Ignoring a child working as a domestic help especially a teenaged girl child, who as a matter of fact needs more protection from pedophiles and rapists, is common in the country. Even the educated Indian associates the word “labor” with factories and not with chores at home. Therefore, the probability of somebody taking the matter to court is extremely low, because almost everybody has used or uses children for such labor, if and when they needed them and can, notwithstanding what the law says.Rishu-Mittal-Boxer

But even if somebody was to take the matterto court, Rishu’s problems would not have gone away. This is because she needs that money for survival and education. As of now, there is no government sponsored support for this category of children. Indian government gives tax concessions to people who donate to orphanages recognized by it. But the capacity of such orphanages is limited. She is also not entitled to help from national government for her education because it is available only till 8th standard. Given her situation, her employer’s stand is understandable.

Watching Rishu washing those vessels in the yard of one of the bungalows near by, it is hard to believe that this girl won 2014 State level boxing championship in December. Her victory in 46 kgs category is recorded somewhere for quiz masters to use it in rapid fire rounds. She would soon be forgotten when new names are added to the list. India holds unbeatable record of ignoring even the national level athletes who come from impoverished background.

This young girl, however, is optimistic. With a twinkle in her eyes she discloses her aspirations. She wants to carry on the legacy of Mary Kom, who is an icon for her. Her coach Rajinder Singh is more realistic. He acknowledges that she has the potential and can deliver the goods in due course, but she would need somebody to sponsor her education and boxing training.

It is then left to media and social networking websites to create awareness about plight of such children, who could make the country proud in future. When issues like this go viral, governments do sit up and take note like Haryana government has done in this case. But one wonders if the “announcement” of Rs.1,00,000/- for this Indian gold mine is adequate for her food, clothing, shelter, medicines, education, and boxing training. Would the money even reach her or remain on paper? Is she aware of such announcement? Will anybody help her collect those monies? Will they charge her for that help? And after all this, would she be able to use it considering that she is still a minor and therefore not allowed to operate bank accounts? A lot of questions and nobody who considers himself or herself answerable. The fact is, we do need a better policy for such orphans. In the meanwhile, she could do with anonymous sponsors who would not make her feel obliged for help rendered, and let her find her footing in the world of her dreams.

Source Video : News

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