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Year after financial help from Sports Ministry, UP archer Neeraj Chauhan makes Asian Games team

By Mike Joseph

New Delhi, March 28: Nearly a year after getting financial help from the Sports Ministry's Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS), Uttar Pradesh archer Neeraj Chauhan has made it to Indian Archery Team for the Asian Games.

Neeraj, who finished in the top three positions of the ongoing Asian Games Selection Trials, will also get to represent India at the four World Cups and World Games that are set to take place later this year.

"The timely intervention at that time helped me and my family a lot and got me back to training for the future competition," Neeraj said during a phone conversation.

Neeraj had first made news back in the year 2020 when during the COVID 19 lockdown his father, who at the time was the only earning member of the family had lost his job due to the pandemic.

The sudden job loss had led to a huge financial crunch for the family, which had then forced Neeraj and his family to sell vegetables to make ends meet.

Asian Games archery selection: Rai, Ridhi book berths; Atanu misses cutAsian Games archery selection: Rai, Ridhi book berths; Atanu misses cut

Their plight was then highlighted by Archery Association of India (AAI) president Shri Arjun Munda, who in a tweet had requested then Minister of Sports Minister (MOS) Shri Kiren Rijiju for his help.

The MOS took stock of the situation, and immediately sanctioned Neeraj and his brother Sunil, who is a national boxer, financial assistance of Rs 5 lakh each under the ministry's Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund.

"Since getting the financial help, I was able to upgrade my Archery equipment to the one I am currently using during my training at SAI Sonepat, and also spend a little more money on diet, which I could not before," Neeraj added.

When asked how he felt about making it to the national team, an ecstatic Neeraj said "I am very happy and excited that I made it to the Indian National team.

"My first international event would be the Asian Games, and now I will give my full energy to prepare for the event so I can win a medal there."

The 2nd Phase of the Asian Games, World Games & World Cup Selection trials is currently on at Sports Authority of India (SAI) Sonepat.

While the Recurve category of completion ended on Sunday (March 27), the selection trials for the Compound category are currently on and will conclude on March 30, 2022.

Source: Media Release

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Story first published: Monday, March 28, 2022, 18:15 [IST]
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