India’s discus thrower Seema Punia added to India’s tally of medals in Asian Games 2018 by winning a gold medal on August 30, 2018. Seema could not defend the gold medal she won in the previous edition, but the 35-year-old’s best season throw of 62.26 metres helped her to get a podium finish.
After securing bronze for India, Seema decided to donate her Asian Games 2018 pocket money of 700 US dollars (Rs 46,000 approximately) and an additional lakh to flood-affected Kerala. She said,
“I have decided to donate my pocket money and also one lakh more to Kerala flood victims. They have gone through a lot. I will go and try to serve those people,”
Not only she donated money for the rehabilitation of people but inspired others to donate as well.
“I also urge all Indian athletes to donate at least half of their allowance to help the victims.”
She might not have donated a huge amount but the sportswoman’s gesture is commendable because discus throw athletes do not get paid much in comparison to sports like cricket, wrestling, badminton, kabaddi.
She bagged the bronze medal battling a bone spur in her left foot. She will undergo surgery after visiting and providing help to Kerala.
“This problem had surfaced at CWG but it was not bad. But now it will need a surgery. Today also I was in pain but it was not reason for my performance.”
Seema Punia has donated her entire Asian Games per diem of $700 to relief efforts in Kerala. The amount may not be huge, but for an Indian athlete who isn’t flush with funds, it’s significant. Hope others follow suit now. Good on you, Seema. A leader on and off the field.
— Indranil Das Blah (@indranildasblah) August 31, 2018
The Haryana athlete also expressed disappointment on not getting the prestigious Arjuna Award,
“Maybe they don’t feel that I deserve. I don’t know what’s wrong. I have also not been promoted by my department in the last eight years,”