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Updated: April 4, 2012 11:09 IST

Poverty forces former archer to sell bow

Ipsita Pati
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Nisha Rani Dutta
Nisha Rani Dutta

Nisha Rani Dutta won silver at the 2008 South Asian championship. To make ends meet and support her family, the former national archer, Nisha Rani Dutta, was forced to sell her silver bow for a measly Rs.50,000.

To make ends meet and support her family, the former national archer, Nisha Rani Dutta, was forced to sell her silver bow for a measly Rs.50,000.

Online transaction

“I sold the bow online to a student in Manipur. I sent a picture of my bow and he agreed to buy it. I had to sell it as my family is in a very poor condition and I tried to help them by providing some money,” said Ms. Dutta.

“I started archery when I was 13 years old. As I was not a cricketer, it was difficult for me to continue the game and support my poor parents. In 2005, I joined Tata Archery Academy and remained there till 2008. Though I earned a monthly stipend of Rs. 500 to 600, it was not sufficient. Yet I managed to save more than half of the money for my family.”

Asked about her family, Ms. Dutta said: “My father is a farmer and we don't have much land. It is difficult for him even to buy seeds for farming. We never had sufficient food for a full meal.”

“To meet my family's needs, I went to Bangalore in 2008 and stayed there for a year with Mittal Champions Trust on a contract basis and earned Rs. 3,000. But now for two years I am in Jharkhand doing nothing. So I decided to sell off my silver bow gifted to me by my Korean coach at Mittal Champions Trust. I don't regret selling it as I did not have anything else to sell.”

Admitting that the bow actually costs Rs. 3 or 4 lakh, Ms. Dutta said she had to undersell it as she urgently needed funds to repair her house.

Ms. Dutta is currently a Bachelors of Arts student at Jamshedpur Women's College. “I have requested the State government to provide me financial assistance so that I can take training at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala. This would help me get a good job to support my family.”

Ms. Dutta, has won medals at international competitions, including one at the Bangkok Grand Prix.

Tata Archery Academy's Chief Coach Dharmendra Tiwari said Ms. Dutta was with the Academy before switching over to another group.

Mahto's gift

PTI reports: Ms. Dutta has received Rs.25,000 from Jharkhand Deputy Chief Minister Sudesh Mahto. Mr. Mahto presented the cheque to Ms. Dutta on behalf of ‘Gunj', a cultural organisation set up by him a decade ago, here on Tuesday.

‘Continue studies'

Mr. Mahto assured Ms. Dutta of all help and advised her to continue her studies. She was also presented with a memento.

The 21-year-old archer hails from Pathmada village in Jamshedpur district and left the sport two years back due to financial constraints. Her achievements include a silver medal at the 2008 South Asian Championship in Jharkhand, bronze at the 2006 Bangkok Grand Prix and also the Best Player award in the 2007 Asian Grand Prix in Taiwan.

In response to offers of help from our readers, The Hindu undertakes to collect and forward contributions to Ms Dutta. Readers may mail cheques payable to "Nisha Rani Dutta', with a covering letter, to the following address:

Editorial Administration
The Hindu
859-860 Anna Salai
Chennai 600 002.

I want to help the National hero. It's unfortunate to have skilled people struggle so much at a tender age.
Is there any way that I can transfer money from abraod. Any bank details that could be shared with me. Thank you!

from:  Bharath
Posted on: May 10, 2012 at 20:48 IST

Only cricket can live in our country and all other sports are dying
,even our national game too.Sports administrators should take actions on

from:  koushik
Posted on: Apr 11, 2012 at 19:45 IST

Hindu, I Salute you for covering this news and even extending a helping hand. Instead of covering cricket.

from:  Muthuveerappan
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 12:27 IST

i heard about nisha dutta ,how can we contact her for donation? can anyone help us in getting there phone or adress?

from:  jatty
Posted on: Apr 9, 2012 at 06:53 IST

No wonder why we end up with hardly 2 or at-most 3 medals in Olympic .
These day to day plight of different accomplished athletes serves the
perfect example of the lack of support given to them by our govt. and
sports Ministry. Its disheartening to see some real good talents in
such deplorable condition. What kind of Example will this serve to our
youth?? Will they take up any different sports other than cricket in
which they'll end up in a state of destitution . Seriously its high
time that Govt. and Media both start encouraging athletes and provide
sufficient funds for them.

from:  Ankit Trivedi
Posted on: Apr 5, 2012 at 02:28 IST

No wonder !!! It happens only in India. We still watch cricket inspite of hearing all the match fixing verdicts. This is because now a days cricket has become gambling where no real sportsmenship is there. So, many like me still want to watch cricket but we change the tv channels immediately because we 'yawn' a lot when there is a athletics games... If we dont change this attitude then soon cricket will be a commerical/gambling hub for india but we will not be able to give anything else to our children!!

from:  KIRAN
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 23:45 IST

No wonder India has so many "Paan Singh Tomar"s everywhere. Media and
every sponsor go gaga over cricket, and that is not even our national sport. For the citizens who represent the nation to the world in other sports, there is hardly any incentive, and moreover after their game they go back with not a whole lot of money. She had to sell what she was gifted - does the government hear???

from:  Ram Singh
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 20:27 IST

Good job "The Hindu" on highlighting this. Instead of asking to send the check, it would great if the account number is shared so that we can deposit the money directly.

from:  Barath Jayaraman
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 19:43 IST

Terribly disturbed to read this pathetic state of a talented girl. This
is classic case of several other thousand families /girls in India.This
Rich-POOR divide must be removed. This must be the primary goal of every

from:  Srikumar VR
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 18:05 IST

Really sad to note the penury of non cricketing sportswomen. Billionaire cricketers like sachin, dravid et al, if they really care and want to improve other sports should shell their few lakhs to such deserving candidates.

Hindu should a fund for such sportmen so that we could contribution something for the wellbeing of other sportsmen.

from:  Rizwan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 17:19 IST

It is heart breaking a young talented girl has to go this far to get
money for her poor family.WE have billionaires and millionaiers
they cannot sponsor this girl? Even the state has a responsibilty
to find a job for her.It is a national shame!

from:  TPaul
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 16:48 IST

What else would you expect in a country, where a cricket world cup victory is being celebrated in front pages, even after one year. We are obsessed with cricket and unless we change the mindset and shun the game, nothing can be done. It is upto us viewers to take up to other sports and stop watching cricket.

There are too many stars in the horizon to be ignored.

We need to take some radical decisions which will transform our country, from only cricket loving to a truly sports loving country.

from:  Basant Giri
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 16:23 IST

Good work "The Hindu". Is there another means of providing contributions other than the cheque, like providing a bank account etc or so? It is hard to send a cheque from where we live? Please email me the details.

from:  Hari
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 16:13 IST

We are the people to be blamed. We take cricket as a posh symbol and rush o the ground even not knowing much about the game. Yesterday only crores of people stuck the eyes on television to see the IPL 5 opening. Hence cricket gets maximum attention, and also money thru advertisement.

If you really want to help the sportspersons (and not cricketers), please stop seeing cricket matches on TV; stop crowding in the fields. Then only our goverment and business community look towards other field of sports to put their money in.

from:  Kaushik
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 15:59 IST

Jharkhand is a wealthy State. It is blessed with mines, mining and business management schools, Steel Plant, well looked after stadium in Jamshedpur, a renowned football academy, schools, colleges and sporting heroes making the young Indian State shine on the national and international map.

When a family and community are unable to take care of the basic needs of its members, it is the Panchayat, Zilla Parishad, District or the State administration that should rise up to the occasion and do the needful. We have the infrastructure but somewhere done the line a sensitive conscience is lacking.

from:  Dr.Cajetan Coelho
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 15:54 IST

first I think it is important to have a trust fund in sport for all talented sport person. One has to look into her personal circustance and her need to persue the sport. she should be offered contract in advertising by some company for her to earn some captital. Perhaps a part time job to train young school children in this sport WITHOUT INTERFERING HER OWN TIME FOR EDUCATION. A lumpsum deposited in her a/c to earn regular monthly interest for expenditure on day to day basis. I think it should help . I would like to donate some money towards her goal to become world champion so we could be proud of her.

from:  k n saigal
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 15:50 IST

To quote her words "As I was not a cricketer, it was difficult for me to continue the game and support my poor parents..." Being a sports person herself, she is well aware of the fact that in this cricket crazy nation it is difficult for a hockey player to survive let alone the archers. In one end the glitz and glamour of IPL is all set to start, here the story is colourful stories to speak about. How sad, how pathethic! Not to mention THE HINDU is proving again and again why it is staying ahead of times.

from:  Dheeraj
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 15:49 IST

Media, may I request you to spare/reserve a corner in you paper to
publish such genuine cases. Government may be deaf and dumb, but not the
people, we will do our best to help such.

Her sports quota job might have been grabbed by a politician for his
goons. Bring Lokpal to end this type of menaces.

from:  Ravi Ramireddy
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 14:57 IST

In India only the game can cricket can thrive. All other sports will die, is dying. Because only cricket has the capability to waste the time of kids, aged, the young and also the blessings like match fixing, scandals what not.

from:  Priya
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 14:31 IST

Has a country like India forgot to honor a sportsman.Or is it just too
busy with cricket? That goes for every sport other than cricket.
Domestic football, hockey, archery, boxing and several other sport has
taken a backseat in the media hype. The Hindu has done a great job by
highlighting such incidents..maybe it will help us realize where we
really stand.

from:  Dhruba Das
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 13:59 IST

This story again confirms the wide disparity among various sports and
problems of our sports development culture and the fact that we don't
respect our athletes. No wonder, we win only 1-2 medals at Olympic
Games. Our fixation with cricket and anything related to cricket is
seriously damaging other sports. Will any corporate house care to help
her? Maybe not, because her sport is not 'marketable' unlike 'savvy'
cricketers. Shame on our Sports administrators.

from:  sanjay
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 13:46 IST

Two sportsman from same state (Jharkhand), almost similar financial background with similar kind of ambition and equally efficient in their respected domain. The only difference, one is CRICKETER and the other is ARCHER. Why this "hell & heaven" difference between their current status?

Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 12:53 IST

Taking leaf out of Raja Pamarthi Can the/do The Hindu have a trust where readers can donate which would go to good cause of supporting the needy.


from:  Rajan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 12:49 IST

Thanks to The Hindu for bringing this to light. If we all contribute for this good cause, we should see some benefit for sure as a nation.

from:  Dev
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 12:30 IST

It is really sadening to read the news about an archer. I pledge that i would watch other sports(especially played or participated by indians) than cricket. It is not because cricket is a bad sport, but it has become a business, it is no more a sport in INDIA. It is WE who change the game, not PEPSI (no offence please)....

from:  sripad
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 12:24 IST

Good work "The Hindu". Shame to the govt of india and to all in administration and to all of us, the indians, as we selected such unfit people to rule us.

from:  Juwesh
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 12:13 IST

Its a sad state of Affairs for the country, She does not need help, she
needs people & Government to value her talent, but alas Indians only
know love for the borrowed Game of Cricket, making the untalented(most
cricketers) rich richer and the talented to resort to desperate
measures. :(

from:  Ankur
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 12:01 IST

Cricket has shadowed many small and big games such as archery, hockey, Kabaddi etc. Few days back I was reading a news where world Kabaddi champions were waiting for an auto-rickshaw on airport with the trophy in their hands. What a shame, they perform hard, win a trophy and don't find anyone to welcome.
Shame on our government who still maintains game ministry and does nothing. Shame on our Finance minister who doesn't find a tiny budget for games and sportsman. Shame on our media specially news channels who have commercialized every games, gave cricket so much importance to earn maximum TRP. Shame on those ministers/MLA/MP of the concerned area who just read this as a news and didn't do anything to help such a talent. And most importantly shame on us, who have tied our hands and not doing anything to help such sportsman.

from:  Amit Bangalore
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 11:04 IST

This is sad. Readers are willing to help her financially, and if The Hindu can help them out in doing this, that will be a great help not only to that family but also to the nation. SAVE AN ARCHER.

from:  Raja Pamarthi
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 10:35 IST

There are thousands of Nisha Ranis in India who are at the reciving end of the Govt.Policy on Sports.A Champion Mountain Cycle Rider from Kerala was asked by the Association to BUY a cycle of her own if she was to represent the state in a National Meet for which she won medals.Her mother a poor daily wager had sold her small plot of land to help her daughter achieve her ambition.Accolades came AFTER she won Medals but that was the end of it.Athletics, Swimming, Kabaddi, Archery,Hockey, Basket Ball,Volley Ball ,Badminton and many other games in India face indifference and cynical treatment from the office bearers of the associations. NO ONE ever filed a PIL to ask what these "AUGUST "Bodies do for developing talented sportspersons in our Country.How many of our athletes own a pair of shoes.How much is spent on the tours and >meetings of these bodies?

from:  arackal narayanan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 10:26 IST

Do u all expect anything to happen after this? dont have high hopes my fellow Indians...India is too busy admiring Katy Perry on the IPL stage!

from:  mathai
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 10:24 IST

Thanks for Hindu to highlights this news. It is very shameful and unfortunate to hear, and it is the situation as being athletes other than “Cricket”. The Indian government should come forward to help such talented athlete by offering a job, so that she could get a permanent solution for her all means.

from:  nazar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 10:21 IST

This is what a great talent goes through in India.Its a big shame for that a young girl(athelete) merely to support her family have to sell a silver bow, which she got as a gift by her coach. The Indian government should do everything need to support this girl and her family; for a girl who has made India proud at International levels by winning medals for the country. Why only cricket is encouraged and money is showered on these cricketers.What about other sports.If this goes on, a day will come when India will be seen at International games playing only cricket.Thanks to The Hindu for highlighting such deficits in our system.

from:  Manoj Bandgar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 09:59 IST

In her field, it is fair to say Nisha Rani Dutta has accomplished enough to, at the very least, not face these dire circumstances she is. Would it be asking for too much to set up a trust fund of INR 1 Cr. that can yield INR 10,000/month to ten such sportspersons? How many crores are we heaping into useless projects every year? Is there no imagination on how this sort of thing can be handled with grace? How about taking an example from how well cricket is handled in this country, and how the cricket board takes care of its fraternity. What are the other sports federations doing about this important responsibility?

from:  B S Kumar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 09:56 IST

Its a shame on the sport organising bodies at state/national level. If a Silver medalist of Asian games can not make it to the National Institute of Sports in Patiala who else will be qualifying to enter. I think everybody knows the naked truth. It also hurts that either the Tata academy paying Rs.500/ a month or the Mittals Champions Trust paying a paltry Rs.3000/ is an eye wash to showcase their mega-events of so called "social service"; while the senior Mittal spending few hundreds of crores for his sons marriage held in Paris; even calling few "mehendi-walas" to Paris for the mega event on earth.

from:  S M Ahmed
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 09:35 IST

Its a shame for our nation that sportsperson of such calibre have to live in such a condition...hope our government wakes up from it slumber and help those needy sportswomen who bring glory to our nation!!!!!!!!

from:  pankaj
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 09:25 IST

Good for sports other than cricket in India if talented people like Nisha Rani get sponsors, no wonder why India is always at the bottom of medals tally in Olympics.PEPSI - can you still change the game...?

from:  Raghunath
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 09:19 IST

matter of utter shame for Shining India. Hindu, please email me this sportsperson's contact details. i would help her with more money than that given by the Deputy CM. I dare you Indians to do the same!

from:  parveen
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 09:16 IST

This is extremely unfortunate, and to see plight of Indian athletes in such state is really, really sad. I hope Industrialists such as Tatas who are doing so much for the under-privileged in India would come forward and help thru employment with one of the Tata Companies as she is studying in Jamshedpur, as she is certainly a deserving candidate having won a silver medal for India in archery in the South Asian Games.

from:  Shaun Warren
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 08:49 IST

Heart sinks with such news. This is the state of affairs of the ill-fated Indian sports. Similar apathy exists in other sectors too. Vital they may be, like health, education and public transport. What haunts our country is its demonstrated inability to change. There is no point to continue blaming politicians and parties they control or lead. They are merely exploiting the deep vacuum created by the lack of an overall accountability framework in India. That a talented sportsperson like Ms. Dutta had to sell her equipments is the mirror to the collective conscience of this great country.

from:  Bijo Francis
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 08:48 IST

News like this just goes on to show how neglected other sports are in India along with those who bought laurels for the country are now reduced to state of poverty just because of Cricket. I am not saying Cricket is bad as a sport but one should realize that it is not the only sport the world plays and in order to think of winning OLympic Medals we need to change out attitude to other sports and allocate resources and distribute it correctly. Easier said than done I would say but it is worth a try definately.

from:  Vikram Niranjan
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 08:46 IST

I request the editor of this article to kindly mail me the contact details of Ms. Dutta. I wish to contact her and support her in what ever way possible to me. I am hoping to get a positive reply from "HINDU" in this regard. Thank you for bringing this news to every body's notice.

from:  R.Krishna Kishore
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 08:28 IST

Kindly publish any trust or her own bank account details where people who are willing to contribute towards her higher studies can make some contributions and keep her spirit and enable her to scale new heights. There are hundreds and thousands of readers who will see this article. Even if 5% of the readers make some decent contributions, it will be a great help.

from:  Prabakar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 08:24 IST

This is the sad story of Indian athletics. The all out craze over cricket makes us neglect other sports that involve more athleticism. It is a shame that India has probably won not more than 2 or 3 gold medals in all of Olympic history, which is not much for a population of 1 billion. (I am of course ignoring the hockey golds that we won before most people started playing hockey !) The government should encourage other forms of athletics and promote an awareness of physical fitness in the population. Fitness and performance in sports go hand in hand.

from:  Anand
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 07:58 IST

How can we support this girl financially to pursue her dream?

from:  SWami
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 07:58 IST

Ms Dutta is the real face of India.I wish her luck in all her endeavours.

from:  siddhu
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 06:49 IST

It's sad to see how talents like Nisha are getting wasted in our country. The media is mostly biased towards a single sport - cricket. More stories like this should be promoted in the mainstream media to open the eyes of the rusting system.

from:  Amar
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 06:21 IST

i would appreciate if the hindu gives some information on how to donate money for this national hero. I am sure atleast a few of the million readers would help out.
I certainly would like to help.

from:  sameer
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 05:24 IST

This portrays the pathetic plight of non-cricketers in our nation. I guess something effective needs to be done at the Sports Ministry level to take care of athletic sports. Otherwise, people who have talents will eventually get discouraged and may not consider pursuing it as a career as their livelihood itself is not stable.

from:  Krishnakumar Raman
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 03:26 IST

What if she would not have that bow? Believe me or not, Many poor women from rural India 'sacrifice' their lives to minimize the financial burden from the shoulders of their poor parents. After 22 years of so-called liberalization in India, we could produce 55 billionaires, more than 155 millionaires to the world, but 47% of our children are suffering with malnutrition, 78/1000 deaths, no change in the figure rather it has been increasing day by day. However, We have the IPL 5, to keep us busy and forget about all this disturbing happenings around us. Enjoy.

from:  Sowjanya
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 03:20 IST

Why was she not given a job in any National Bank ? She has a Bachelors degree and is qualified for Sports quota. ..I guess I am stupid to ask this question, as we all know the answer to it.

from:  Vignesh
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 02:56 IST

it makes me sad to read this. India is like a blinkered horse - only looking at cricket through glazed eyes. the 25000 given by the deputy chief minister is a paltry sum, an eye-wash, so to speak.

from:  trv arun
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 02:41 IST

It is good of Hindu to highlight Nisha Rani Datta's plight.Hope the rich cricketers read about this and offer to help.That's not likely to happen!However Hindu can at least give the account details of Nisha so that donors can contribute and help her.It pains us that the politicians and the babus are looting the country and yet a sportsperson representing the country has to sell her most prized possession to help her poor parents survive!

from:  Dilip Mahanty
Posted on: Apr 4, 2012 at 02:26 IST
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