The Telegraph
Thursday , September 4 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

5 yoga pupils await sponsors

They have excelled in a state-level yoga competition and now have an opportunity to perform at the International Yoga Championship in Shanghai. But, money is a hindrance for five young yoga enthusiasts from Jamshedpur.

Divya Jyoti Gopal (14), Ritesh Thakur (19), Chandan Kumar Maurya (13), Neha Kumari (20) and Rai Singh Gabrai (27) have won many accolades at Jharkhand State Yoga Championship held at Hazaribagh on Aug 30 and 31. But these five students of Bal Yog Mitra Mandal, Baridih, have no sponsor to take them to Shanghai for the 4th International Yoga Championship organised by the Shanghai Health Association from September 19 to 21.

“Of course, I would love to go but money is a problem. My parents will not be able to afford it. Lets see what help we can get,” said Divya who excelled in artistic yoga that is performed with songs.

A student of ADLS Sunshine School, Divya’s father is a minibus driver and does not earn enough to send his daughter to the international meet.

If Divya’s father is a driver, Ritesh’s father is a barber and arranging Rs 65,000 for a foreign trip is unimaginable for him as well. Same is the story for idli seller’s son Chandan and contract labourers’ daughter Neha. Rai, who is deaf and mute, lost his father and his mother works as a Grade IV employee at a private school.

“All the states will be sending participants. We are trying our best to send these children,” said their mentor Subhasish Bhadury, adding that arranging sponsorship for yoga was difficult as it was not an “Olympic sport”.

Bal Yog Mitra Mandal will only take those who will be either be supported by parents or schools. Once the money is in hand, Jharkhand State Yoga Federation will help arrange the Visa. The team is supposed to leave on September 17.

Of all these yoga enthusiasts, luck may smile on Divya.

Her school principal Indrani Singh said they were trying to arrange sponsorship for her trip.

“Divya’s school is helping but there are others who might not get help from their institution. This is one opportunity students should not miss,” Bhadury added.

Other than these five, one B. Keshav Rao will also go to Shanghai. His father works with Tata Steel and sponsoring Keshav’s trip would not be such a great problem. In fact, Keshav went to the same event last year in Taiwan.