The bronze-winning efficiency of the Indian males’s hockey crew on the Tokyo Olympics has actually rekindled standard curiosity in hockey, however a 26-year-old former full-back from Odisha who as soon as represented the state in senior nationwide males’s championship has been working as a migrant labourer to make ends meet.
Taking part in for Gangpur-Odisha hockey crew (one of many affiliate groups of Hockey India) in 2013 and 2014 senior males’s hockey championship, Santosh Majhi, a tribal from Lulkidihi village of Sundargarh district stood like a rock defending his crew’s objectives from the marauding forwards of the opponent groups. However 7 years later, Majhi’s world is much faraway from the world of hockey as he migrated to Goa final yr to work in fishing vessels for ₹6000 a month.
“I’ve no different different than to exit to work. I’ve no future left in hockey although I might have cherished to play,” stated Majhi from his house in Lulkidihi village that has produced at the very least two Olympians Deepgrace Ekka of the ladies’s hockey crew and former Olympian Ignace Tirkey. With at the very least 7 worldwide gamers, Lulkidihi is taken into account because the nursery of hockey in Odisha together with Saunamara village from the place former captain of the Indian hockey crew, Dilip Tirkey hails.
Like most tribal kids in Sundargarh district, Majhi took to hockey on the age of 11 when he joined the sports activities hostel at Panposh. For his day by day wage earner father, sports activities promised a getaway from the drudgeries of life. Within the hostel he shone as a defender and performed for the Hockey Gangpur crew in 2013 and 2014. After leaving the sports activities hostel in 2015, he performed for Paradip Port Belief in All India Main Ports Hockey Championships in 2016, 2017 and 2018, however couldn’t get a job there.
Majhi stated in 2016, he had tried for a job within the Indian Military by the sports activities quota, however was disqualified throughout the medical check over a varicose veins difficulty. His issues have additionally been compounded as he couldn’t full his greater secondary examination in 2016 after struggling a fracture in his hand.
Arun Kumar Sahu, a social activist of the realm, stated it’s disturbing to see gamers like Majhi wrestle for a residing. “Whereas the state authorities and the Centre are spending crores for hockey, it could be good to rehabilitate gamers like him,” stated Sahu.
Odisha sports activities secretary Vineel Krishna stated although Majhi represented Gangpur Odisha in senior nationals, he didn’t safe any place. “Although the state authorities has a coverage of giving authorities jobs to all medallists, He isn’t eligible for a job as per the notification of the house division,” he stated.