Mary Kom bats for poverty-stricken former boxer

Kolkata, (IANS) Expressing solidarity with poverty stricken former national pugilist Krishna Raut, Olympic bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom on Sunday called upon the government to help the indigent sportsperson.

Raut, who earned laurels at National and West Bengal-level competitions, now at the age of 43, earns his livelihood spraying disinfectants into open drains in Howrah.

Earning a meagre amount, Raut, who also coaches kids free of cost, has now sought assistance from the Mamata Banerjee led state government.

“I do not know the story about the guy… but, of course, some of them (boxers) are suffering. Not only him, in Manipur also there are boxers who are facing the same problems. I do not know why they are not getting a job. I have seen many doing small businesses and all and I feel very sad, upset for them,” Mary told mediapersons here.

“But if the guy is a very good boxer then someone should come up and help him or instead he has to go forward and tell the government,” said the ace boxer from Manipur.

The five-time world champion egged on Raut to fight for his rights instead of waiting for government help.

“If I was him, I would have gone forward, that is what he has to do. The government would not come and just hand him the job. The government has got to do other works too. But if he is strong, he has to go and seek a job himself,” asserted 32-year-old Mary, a mother of three.

Raut won the gold medal in All India Invitational Boxing Championship (the Surya Sen Trophy) in 1987 and came second in 1992.

He competed in the West Bengal State Open Lalchand Roy Memorial Boxing Championship (under 40kg) in 1985 and finished as a runner-up. He was the winner in the same tournament in 1987.

Raut also clinched the West Bengal boxing championship organised by a youth festival in 1985 and the state inter-school and college boxing championship in 1990.

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