Due to crippling poverty, national karate medalist Bimla Munda has been forced to sell rice beer to make a living. The 26-year-old lives on the outskirts of Ranchi and is waiting currently for a government job for which she has been elected. Bimla has brought several medals and laurels for the state of Jharkhand. She won a silver medal at the 34th National Games in 2011 in Jharkhand. Munda had brought several laurels for Jharkhand.
She had started coaching classes to train budding karate players in February this year for her livelihood. But she had to shut it down in March due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown. A commerce graduate, Bimla currently stays with her 84-year-old maternal grandfather in Ranchi’s Kanke block. Her parents live in Sagrampur village. Her father is a small farmer who used to work as a daily laborer to provide for Bimla and her 5 siblings.
‘I have no other option’ – Bimla
Speaking to press in her village, Bimla spoke on her struggles. She said, “I had to shut the coaching after a month due to the lockdown. So I have no option but to sell hadia for livelihood.”
“I have been living with my grandfather since childhood. My grandfather retired before 2000 when Jharkhand was not separated from Bihar. He gets pension around Rs 6,000 a month but most of his pension amount goes into his medicine,” she added.
“I sell hadia at my home in the village. Average 70-80 glass of hadia is sold every day. Each glass costs Rs 4. The money I earn from selling hadia goes on buying household needs,” she further said.
Bimla also claimed that she is among 33 players who have been selected for Jharkhand’s government job scheme for sportspersons but she hasn’t received any appointment letter so far.
“I applied for the direct job scheme in 2019, while verification was done in February this year. We were told that we would get a job by March. But, we are still waiting for the appointment letter,” she said. When sports secretary Puja Singhal was contacted by Sanjoy Dey of Hindustan Times Ranchi, she said, “They would get their jobs in a month.”
Jharkhand chief minister took note of the news of Bimla and asked the Ranchi deputy commission to look into the issue.