Bhopal (Madhya Pradesh): Poverty has come in the way of 23-year-old visually impaired Judoka Priya’s international participation. Hailing from a small hamlet in the Narmadapuram district of Madhya Pradesh, Priya has won several medals in national competitions without undergoing any training. But she couldn’t participate in many international tournaments despite being selected due to her financial constraints. Yet, she is trying her best to shine in the national and international judo arenas with sheer courage.
"It is not my disability but my financial condition that is holding me back from participating in international tournaments," B1 parajudoka (complete visual impairment) Priya said. Priya comes from a family of farmers; her father works as a farm labourer on other people’s lands, and he owns a small piece of land where he does farm for his family.
Even after being selected for every international tournament, Priya could only participate in one championship due to her financial condition. For that, her mother had to mortgage her jewellery. Her financial situation was so bad that her family even planned to mortgage their farming land, which is their major means of livelihood. She competed in the 2022 World Championships in Azerbaijan, but she did not win any medals.
Priya told the Free Press,“There is no training facility here in my village for blind judokas. I can’t afford a personal coach or anything; therefore, I only get training a week before tournaments.”
When asked about her impairment, Judoka said, “I went to a doctor to get a check-up done, but all the tests that they prescribed were too expensive.” I got half of them done. There was nothing in those tests. “But I have accepted myself, and I feel my disability is not something that is holding me back from achieving my dreams.”
Priya recently competed in and won a gold medal at the 10th National Championship 2022, which was held in Sri Ganganagar, Rajasthan.She applied for the scholarship money four months ago, but she has yet to receive it.
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