Nasreen Sheikh, Indian women’s Kho Kho team Captain, and her family are struggling for survival under the coronavirus lockdown. A 2019 gold medalist Nasreen’s father can’t feed his family now, as he is not allowed to sell steel utensils on the streets like he used to before lockdown. Nasreen struck gold at South Asian Games (SAG) in 2019. The 23-year-old​ was offered a contractual job with the Airports Authority of India (AAI) last year, but she’s been unable to go to work because of the lockdown. Thus she and her family are facing financial hardships under current circumstances.

Writing to AAI about her condition, Nasreen told them about the financial crunch and they were able to release some funds but that wasn’t enough for the family of 13.

Key Takeaways:

  • Indian Kho Kho team captain Nasreen is struggling without basic amenities amid lockdown
  • A 2019 gold medalist Nasreen is supported by her father Mohammad Gafoor who sells steel utensils on the streets. Due to lockdown, the family of 13 is facing a financial crunch.
  • Her family has been forced to live without ration due to the financial crisis faced as a result of the lockdown.
  • The Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI) came forward to help Nasreen.

Nasreen’s father, Mohammad Gafoor, sells steel utensils in Jahangirpuri. When the lockdown was announced, restrictions were put in place and Gafoor lost his only source of income. “He was fending for us, seven sisters and four brothers. The lockdown has forced him to stay at home resulting in a financial crisis for our family,” Nasreen told TOI.

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Kho kho lends support

​Help came Nasreen’s way from the Kho Kho Federation of India (KKFI). Talking about how they have extended financial assistance of Rs one lakh to her family, Nasreen said, “The Kho Kho Federation helped get my sister treated when she got really sick, but it was not enough.”

When we went to her house to give rations, we found the family living in a very poor condition.- Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA) member Abu Sufyan

Nasreen had played a crucial role in securing a top podium finish for the country at the 2019 South Asian Games, but the global pandemic has overshadowed her glory. The family struggles everyday to stock up enough rations with no source of income. “I’m planning to approach the Delhi government. My appeals have now been circulated on social media,” the kho kho player said.

Her father earns a maximum margin of Rs 30 in the weekly markets. Helping out in such a situation, Old Delhi-based Delhi Youth Welfare Association (DYWA) member Abu Sufyan said, “When we went to her house to give rations, we found the family living in a very poor condition. We also found out that there were other Good Samaritans who had heard about Nasreen’s plight and wanted to help her family. We collected some money and gave it to her.”

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Mohammad Naeem, another DYWA member who had gone to Nasreen’s home on March 24, said, “We were worried about Nasreen’s health as she is a sportsperson and requires a good diet. Seeing that she wasn’t getting any help, DYWA members and a few anonymous donors collected a considerable sum to help the family tide over the crisis.”

The KKFI is also donating to several other players and homeless through Kho Kho Food Distribution Centres with the help of local volunteers.

Feature Image Credit: amarujala.com

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