New Delhi: Harish Kumar, member of Indian Sepak Takraw team that won a bronze medal at the Asian Games 2018, has resumed his job of selling tea at his father's shop to support his family following his return to country.
Speaking to news agency ANI at his small tea shop, Harish Kumar said, "I have many family members and there is a very meager source of income. I help my father at the tea shop to support my family. I dedicate four hours every day between 2 to 6 for my practice. For my future, I want to get a good job to support my family".
Talking about his struggles and initial association with the Sepak Takraw game, he said, "I started playing this sport from 2011. My coach Hemraj brought me into this sport. We used to play with a tyre when my coach Hemraj spotted me and introduced me to the Sports Authority of India (SAI). Thereafter I started receiving monthly funds and kits. I practice every day and will keep on doing it to bring more laurels for my country".
Harish's mother, Indira Devi, also spoke to ANI about adversities under which she supported her son to pursue the game.
She said, "I have brought up my children with a lot of struggle. His father is an auto-driver and we have a small tea shop. My son also works at tea shop to assist his father. I am very thankful to the government for providing food and accommodation to my son. I am very thankful to his coach Hemraj who has supported my child to achieve this accomplishment."
Harish's brother, Dhawan, also expressed his gratitude for the government support and requested for a government job for his brother.
He said, "There were times when we did not have money to pay our rent. His coach Hemraj took him under his training and admitted him to the stadium. Later, SAI supported us by giving monthly finances and sports kits. I also urge the government to give my brother a government job so that he can support our family".
India registered their best ever medal tally (69) at the 18th edition of the Asian Games in Indonesia.