Prajakta Godbole
Prajakta Godbole

New Delhi: A paralytic father and a mother who has been rendered jobless due to COVID-19 lockdown has forced promising Nagpur based middle-distance runner Prajakta Godbole to fight extreme hunger with the fear of the unknown -- where is the family's next meal coming from?

The 24-year-old, who resides with her parents in a Siraspeth slum in Nagpur, represented Indian Universities in the 5000m race at the World University Games in Italy in 2019. She clocked 18:23.92 and could not qualify for the final round.

She finished second in the Tata Steel Bhubaneswar Half Marathon earlier this year, with a timing of 1:33:05 in the 21.097km event. Her father Vilas Godbole earlier worked as a security guard but met with an accident, which left him paralysed.

Prajakta's mother Aruna worked as a cook at a catering service, earning Rs 5,000 to 6,000 a month. The meagre amount earned by Prajakta's mother was the only source of income for the family of three. But due to the lockdown, there are no marriages or events happening, so no assignments have come Aruna's way in the last 50-odd days.

Prajakta and her parents have been grappling with the stark reality of how to get two square meals a day. "We are now surviving on help provided by people from nearby areas. They gave us rice, dal and other things.

So, we have something to eat in the next two three days, but I don't know what will happen after that. This lockdown has been cruel for us," a distraught Prajakta told PTI. "I am not even thinking of training, rather, I don't know how I will survive in this situation. Life is very harsh for us. The lockdown has brought us ruin," she said.

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