A 9-year-old archery champion from Rajasthan seeks supports from the government to continue enhancing her skills, buy necessary equipment to fulfill her dream of representing India at the Olympics.
Yashi is a class 4 student from Rajasthan who has won 3 gold medals in archery at the national level. “I first played at the district level and I came first. And then I came at the state level at Durgapura in Jaipur,” she says. She was introduced to archery by her coach in a short term camp of archery in Jaipur. Her father took the initiative to enroll. The 9-year-old dreams of winning an Olympic gold medal one day.
Yashi’s father who is a Lecturer in a Agrasen college in Hindaun city, Sawai Madhopur, upcycled a water tank along with jute to make a target face for his daughter to practice archery. “The equipment required for archery is not easily available here. It is expensive to get it from elsewhere and it becomes difficult to bring it here,” says Shri Krishna Sharma, Yashi’s father.
Given their daughter’s focus and skills, Yashi’s are determined parents to support her towards fulfilling her ambition. “We need to get all the equipments from Jaipur where she goes to play. There is no provision for a coach either. It is necessary to have a coach. The girl feels very troubled. Her father or her fellow players teach her,” says Malti Sharma, Yashi’s mother.
When it comes to following their dreams, many young athletes like Yashi are faced with financial roadblocks. In 2012 when the Archery Association of India was derecognised, the absence of any national federation dried up the funding for archery in India.
“We don’t have 2 – 2.5 lakh to buy compound or recurve. She will need all this in a year or two years. We want the government to help so that her dream of going ahead and going abroad will be fulfilled,” says Yashi’s mother.
Video by Community Correspondent Sunita Kasera
Article by Grace Jolliffe, a member of the VV editorial team