Kho Kho South Asian Games gold medalist struggling for a government job

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Kho Kho player Juhi Jha with the then Madhya Pradesh Sports minister Yashodhara Raje Scindia. File photo

Bhopal: A 22-year-old Vikram Awardee Kho Kho player is now struggling for a government job, long overdue to her. She had won laurels for the country at international events despite her family’s poor economic conditions.

The player, Juhi Jha, got the Vikram Award in the year 2018. As per rules the awardees are entitled to government jobs. And it should be given to them before the next list of awardees is out. “I got the award in the year 2018. The government has released the list of winners of 2019 too. But I didn’t get a job so far,” Juhi said.

The journey of Juhi started from a one-room house attached to a public toilet in Indore and culminated at the podium in 2016 when India won the gold medal at the South Asian Games.

Juhi’s father Subodh Jha brought up his family of five with the little money that he earned as salary. Further, he also got some assistance from his wife who took up to sewing clothes.

After Juhi’s selection in the Indian Kho Kho team, the family thought their fortunes would now change for good. But that was not to be.

Juhi, meanwhile, had picked up a job in a private school. But as her name figured in the Vikram awardee list for the year 2018, the school found a replacement, fearing she could leave mid-session as a government job for the awardees was assured.

The sports department, while accepting that a government job was due to her, said procedural lapses caused the delay.

“The state government is looking to the matter at the highest level. We would resolve it within a few weeks,” Dr Vinod Pradhan, joint director of sports said.

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