India women’s hockey team goalkeeper Savita Punia’s stellar performance at the recent Asia Cup 2017 has forced the government to sit up and take notice. It has come to light that despite her hockey career over the years, Punia has not been able to get a job to sustain herself. On Wednesday (Nov 8), sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore said the government will provide all possible help to Punia.
“Have asked my team to obtain details on our #AsiaCup2017 star, Savita Punia. Will ensure she receives all the support possible from Govt. Our motto: #SuvidhaAurSamman,” sports minister Rajyavardhan Rathore wrote from his official Twitter handle.
— Col Rajyavardhan Rathore (@Ra_THORe) November 8, 2017
Punia played a significant role in the Asia Cup triumph. She held the crucial penalty in the shootout in the final against China. This helped India win 5-4. Punia has also crossed the 150-cap mark during the competition and has been one of the mainstays of the team.
“I am very happy that I could contribute in team’s win. I (will) work harder to bring more laurels and will not let my unemployment affect my game,” Punia told PTI after team’s return from Japan, reported FirstPost.
“I have been trying for a job for last nine years. I was promised a job under the Haryana Government’s ‘Medal Lao, Naukri Pao’ scheme, but I have only been given assurances by officers,” the Hisar-born player said after the match.
“I am 27 now and still depend on my father’s income. I am playing for my country for last nine years and every time after a win, I hope to get a job, but nothing changes,” said Punia. She first played her international tournament in 2008
“I should take care of my parents but it is opposite in my case. My father is a pharmacist and it is not easy to run a family with his solo income,” said Punia.
She mentioned that she had also applied for a coaching job with Sports Association of India but got no response in return.
“Sometimes, I get very tense when I see my parents. My mother is worried that I don’t have a job. My father encourages me to do well and I never let my game get affected with my unemployment. But it is constantly in my mind when I am out of the ground,” she told in an interview
The hockey goalkeeper went on to appeal to the sports minister who himself is an Olympic medallist. Punia said she hoped that with Rathore’s intervention, she may be able to secure a job to sustain her game and her family. She hoped that the team’s performance at the Asia Cup will raise the profile of women’s hockey in India and motivate other girls to take up the sport.
It’s high time a player like Punia gets her due! SheThePeople.TV wishes her all the very best.