From selling his kidney to Gold at the South Asian games: The journey of Ravi Dixit

Sometime during mid of January 2016, there was a story about a young Indian squash player Ravi Dixit who was willing to sell his kidney to pursue his career. Ravi, a 20-year-old squash player, had won gold in the 2010 Asian junior championship, had been playing squash for 10 years and earning many medals and laurels for India. But he did not have any money to fund his campaign for the South Asian Games to be held in Indian in February 2016.

Ravi’s post on Facebook was shocking:

“I have been playing squash for the last 10 years. Even after winning so many medals and representing India so many times, I do not get any support to take my squash to the national and international levels,” Dixit said. “Dhampur Sugar Mill has supported me but how long will they continue to support me? Next month, the games are starting in Guwahati and I am representing India. To prepare for the tournament, I am training in Chennai but I have not been able to arrange enough money to fund my campaign for the games. I have lost my determination. I am ready to sell my kidney. If anyone needs a kidney, they can contact me. The price of my kidney is Rs 8 lakh,”

Here was a champion, ready to sell his kidney to support his passion, of playing squash. He came from a poor family and found no other choice but to announce this drastic step.

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Ravi soon clarified though, that it was an “emotional outburst” which was blown out of proportion. Interestingly this “out of proportion” remark turned into a blessing in disguise for him. Many people on the social media trended #supportRaviDixit and approached people to help Ravi.

Out of the hashtag, emerged a crowd-funding initiative. A campaign was started on a site to help Ravi raise the Rs  2 lakhs he needed to train for and participate in the South Asian Games. But alas, the campaign did not succeed. It had only 3 contributors and he could raise only Rs 5500.

Just as all hopes were fading, Ravi Dixit found his angel. Manish Mundra, the producer of classic Bollywood movies like Ankhon Dekhi and Masaan, stepped up to help Ravi:

And Manish Mundra was true to his words. Last week, Mundra gave Ravi Dixit his initial funding of Rs 2 lakhs.  Manish also requested Ravi to tell others that he is not selling his kidneys so that people keep their hopes in humanity. This enabled Ravi to fund his campaign for the South Asian Games.

Yesterday, the Indian men’s team of squash played against the Pakistani team in the finals of the team squash event at the South Asian Games in Guwahati. Ravi played against Danish Atlas Khan, and even though he didn’t win his match, the team won and the Indian team won the Gold medal.

 


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