Jharkhand: Once the captain of Jharkhand’s football team, Sangeeta Soren is now forced to work as a labourer at a Brick Klin her village in Bhuli, Jharkhand. India’s Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju has asked his office to contact Soren and help her out financially stating that “Ensuring a dignified life for athletes is our priority.”
Sangeeta Soren has represented India U-18 in Bhutan and U-19 in Thailand as a striker in 2018. She was also the captain of Jharkhand’s state team, as mentioned earlier. Soren does not have a job that is promised to every athlete. She is originally an Adivasi from Baansmudi village in Jharkhand’s Bhuli, it is a place adjoining Dhanbad, the famous mining district.
BJP Jharkhand’s spokesperson, Kunal Sarangi tweeted a news article about Sangeeta tagging the sports minister. Sarangi got a reply within minutes from Rjiiju. He wrote: “I’ve been informed about footballer Sangeeta Soren, who has represented India in international competitions, and is in a financial crisis in this pandemic. My office has contacted her & financial help will be extended soon. Ensuring a dignified life for athletes is our priority.”
It has been reported that Sangeeta has been struggling to find a government job for the last three years. She has received ₹10,000 from the district administration as help, but she says that she doesn’t need cash, she needs a secured job that would help sustain her family. Covid-19 lockdown has affected many families across India. Soren’s family also has been pushed into extreme poverty. She says that her brother is not getting any job during the crisis thus she had to take up the responsibility and work as a labourer.
Let’s hope that the Sports Ministry looks into it and helps Soren and other athletes who have been pushed into poverty due to the Covid-19 crisis.