Two years ago, Naresh Tumda was a part of the Indian Cricket team that lifted the Blind World Cup by defeating arch-rivals Pakistan in the finals in Sharjah.
But Naresh Tumda, just like other professionals from varying sectors, has suffered the wrath of the Covid-19 enforced slowdown and is being forced to sell vegetables to feed his family thanks to the non-existent government support in providing the visually impaired professionals with jobs in such desperate times.
Naresh Tumda is responsible for feeding five people in his family and with daily wage jobs and Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Act drying up, the former World Cup-winner had no option but to resort to selling vegetables.
”When the Indian cricket team wins the World Cup, the government and corporations rain money on them. Are we lesser sportsmen because we are blind. Society should treat us equally,” a visibly disappointed NareshTumda told Times of India.
Plight of Specially abled cricketers like Naresh Tumda have only worsened due to Covid-19
Recently, the Board of Control of India [BCCI] had received a letter from the Physically Challenged Cricket Association of India [PCCAI], seeking financial aid after some of the cricketers resorted to doing odd jobs in these desperate times of Covid-19.
“Recent news of Disabled cricketers working as labourers and taking up other menial jobs has once again brought to the surface, the importance the government and BCCI have been giving to disabled sports,” Ravi Chauhan, Secretary-General, PCCI had told TimeNowNews.com
“The condition of the players was marginal before COVID but now it has become worse. These players don’t want people to pity them. All they want is equal opportunity. The cricket boards of England, South Africa and even Pakistan have got a disability wing, but for some reason, BCCI has completely overlooked this issue in this country. We have written many letters and made many representations to BCCI, but our prayers have met deaf ears” he added.