Eighteen-year-old archer Soni Khatoon was forced to sell vegetables on the streets of Dhanbad in Jharkhand due to financial issues. Soni’s dream to become a professional archer was shattered when her bow broke a couple of years ago. She could not afford to buy another. After the chief minister of Jharkhand learnt about her plight, he immediately offered a help of her Rs 20,000.

Few people are lucky to have a full-fledged sports career with fewer obstacles, but for the budding archer it is a harsh challenge specially now during the pandemic. Jodapokhar resident Soni struggles to earn a living by selling vegetables on the streets near the Geelagora Kids Garden. She has the responsibilities of her mother Shakeela Khatoon and father Idrish Minya on her.

The 18-year-old is a bronze medal winner in the Under-17 category in the 2011 National Schools Games. Soni, who also won a medal in the National Archery Competition at the school level, has been skipping her studies due to financial crisis at home. She has to sell vegetables to run a house in lockdown.

What You Should Know

  • After the chief minister was notified that a budding archer from Jodapokhar is selling vegetables on the streets of Dhanbad due to financial issues, he immediately offered a help of her Rs 20,000.
  • Soni Khatoon is a bronze medalist in the Under-17 category in the 2011 National Schools Games, was forced to sell vegetables on the streets of Dhanbad.
  • Soni’s dream to become a professional archer was shattered when her bow broke a couple of years ago. She could not afford to buy another.

Recently, she received Rs 20,000 from Dhanbad Deputy Commissioner Amit Kumar after the Chief Minister Hemant Soren noticed her poor condition and decided to help her.

“The chief minister was informed through a video showing Khatoon, who received several medals in archery at the national level, is forced to sell vegetables for her subsistence,” a statement from the Chief Minister’s Office said.

Becoming an immediate financial assistant to Soni, Kumar said, “Today, she was given a cheque for Rs 20,000 as support. The district administration will extend all possible support in future.” Soni claims that she will be using this amount to buy the bow.

READ: 12-Year-Old Migrant Girl Dies After Walking 150 km To Reach Chhattisgarh

Soren said it was painful to see the talented archer selling vegetables for a living and added, “The state government is taking all measures to map (search) talented sportspersons and ensure that they get linked to all facilities and opportunities.”

Soni is a huge fan of six-time World Cup gold medallist archer Deepika Kumari who won accolades across the world. She wants to follow her idol’s footstep.

Also Read: Bilaspur: 72-Year-Old Beggar Woman Donates Rice, Sarees & Cash To Needy

Read More Stories By Ria Das

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.