The Kho-Kho Federation of India has come to the financial aid of gold medallist Nasreen Sheikh after it was revealed that the diver had lately been struggling to make ends meet. Nasreen, who led India to a gold medal at the South Asian Games in Kathmandu, is part of a 13-member household and was severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

After writing a petition to the Chief Minister of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal and getting no response, Nasreen was left dejected, but the KKFI’s donation of Rs 1 lakh has made life a lot better for the 21-year-old and her family.

“I have worked really hard to make the country proud in kho-kho. But today, my family is struggling during the lockdown. Things are so bad that we don’t have enough food at home,” Nasreen told Times of India. “I am really happy with the KKFI’s decision to support me. It has lifted my morale. This is something that the government should have done. I tried to draw the attention of the chief minister over the past few days, but did not get any response.”

General Secretary of the KKFI, MS Tyagi found it unfortunate that a national player has to go through such adversities in India. “We are always at the forefront to support sportspersons and deserving talents who face genuine issues. It’s unfortunate that a national player had to face a tough time in such an unprecedented situation,” he said.

Daughter of a utensil seller of streets, Nasreen is employed with the Airports Authority of India, where she gets a meagre income of Rs 6000 per month. The lockdown has impacted her father’s earnings and the money she had saved, was all exhausted.

“I have a one-year contract with AAI and the extension will depend on my appraisal. I earn a salary of Rs 26,000. My father has been unable to work for over a month now,” said the 21-year-old.”