A shocking and unfortunate evidence of India’s poor sporting culture has come to light with the suicide of Pooja Kumari (20), a national-level handball player on Saturday due to pressing financial constraints, as indicated by her in a letter written in blood and addressed to Prime Minister, Narendra Modi.
A second-year student of General Shivdev Singh Diwan Gurbachan Singh Khalsa college, Pooja was denied the free hostel and food facility guaranteed by the sports quota by the administration. Her note is a desperate plea to Narendra Modi: “Mere parivar ki madad karo PM Modi ji” (Please help my family, PM Modi).
Her father, Prabhu Chauhan, a street vendor, moved to Punjab from Uttar Pradesh many years ago. Without the free hostel and food facility, his earnings would not suffice for the additional cost of commute: Rs 3,720. Chauhan has admitted that Pooja had been depressed for the last few days over this matter.
“I have to think a hundred times before spending five rupees but denial of hostel means I spend Rs 3,720 monthly to reach the college campus… which my family can’t bear,” reads the suicide note.
The college has refused Pooja’s claim saying she had been granted admission on August 18 and had not approached authorities for a free hostel room.
Pooja, in particular, has accused the head of the physical education department, Gursharan Singh Gill of harassing handball, kabaddi and hockey players who have failed to win medals in the previous session.
The police have filed a case of abetment of suicide against Gill, though the college has come out in defence of him.