19 year old shooter Priya Singh who hails from Meerut – Uttar Pradesh, made her family proud when she became the one of the six shortlisted candidates to represent India in the ISSF Junior World Cup, which will be held in Germany from 22 June.
Though as reported by media outlets like Times of India and ANI, there was a spanner in the works. Priya who is the daughter of a labourer who earns about Rs 10,000 per month, hit a wall with regards to her dream. Which was, she couldn’t afford the expenses required to fund her participation which includes travel, accommodation costs estimated at about Rs 3-4 lakh.
Priya was also disadvantaged on the equipment front as she had come so far with the help of a borrowed rifle. And here “come so far” includes winning 17 medals between 2014-17 including a gold at the National shooting championships of 2016 and 2017.
As explained by reports, she was not immediately eligible for total government funding as she had ranked fourth in the six person strong merit list.
As per Rajiv Bhatia – secretary of National Rifles Association of India, they were sorting out a gun permit for Priya but expressed helplessness regarding the funding. He claimed that the top three shooters are fully supported by the government but the rest need to arrange their own travel and accommodation.
Desperate to not miss out on such a big tournament, Priya and her father knocked on the doors of moneylenders, wrote to PM Modi and Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath for funds. The father even sold his buffalo for Rs 50,000 to somehow try and raise funds for his daughter.
After her desperate plea for support came into national limelight, common citizens vowed to help her using a crowd sourcing fund:
प्रिया जी हमारे जैसे हज़ारों भाई आपके साथ हैं, आप प्रतियोगिता की तय्यारी करें आर्थिक भार हमारे ऊपर छोड़ दें, 24 घंटे के अंदर ज़रूरी फ़ंड की व्यवस्था हो जाएगी ये हम सभी का आपसे वादा रहा। https://t.co/ewv8pMU4ib
— Bhaiyyaji (@bhaiyyajispeaks) June 9, 2018
Anybody knows how to crowdfund.. we can donate so she does not miss her chance. Even if just 4000 people contribute 100 each she can go.
— Prakash Kadu Patil (@prakashkadu009) June 9, 2018
That though won’t be needed anymore as Yogi Adityanath while speaking to the media stated that he sanctioned an amount of Rs 4.5 lakh for Priya as soon as he was made aware about the matter. Meerut’s District Magistrate will be the one handling the issue:
As soon as I came to know about it, I instantly approved an amount of Rs 4.5 lakh to be provided to her by state government. Meerut District Magistrate has been asked to arrange her conveyance: UP CM Yogi Adityanath on shooter Priya Singh’s letter to him & PM pic.twitter.com/Z776qQ4D0N
— ANI UP (@ANINewsUP) June 9, 2018
It wan’t just the Yogi government and the citizens who got involved in the matter.
Neelam Kapur who is the Director General of Sports Authority of India assured that Priya would be given all possible facilities to come into the top three which would result in her being directly funded. She also informed that Priya is already part of the national camp which is fully funded by the government.