Promising archer Anil Lohar’s wait for a sophisticated compound bow seems to get longer even though Union tribal affairs minister Arjun Munda has made a recommendation to the state government to grant the equipment to Lohar.
Lohar is forced to continue his practice with a conservative bow made of bamboo, shattering his plans to switch over to a compound division of archery.
“I am very disappointed that the state sports department is yet to grant a compound bow to Lohar. He (Lohar) cannot just start shooting with a compound bow all of a sudden. He needs a proper idea of how to use the compound bow. It takes time to get adjusted to the new gear. The government should immediately grant him the bow,” said Sumanta Kumar Mohanty, secretary of Serikela-Kharsawan District Archery Association (SKDAA).
Mohanty, also joint secretary of Archery Association of India (AAI), said Lohar cannot afford to buy a compound bow on his own. So it is the responsibility of the government to fulfil the needs of promising archers like Lohar.
Munda, president of the AAI, had made a recommendation to the state art, sports and youth affairs department to provide a compound bow to Lohar in June 2020.
In his letter to the sports secretary, Munda had said that Lohar is a state and national level medallist. He is a talented and hardworking archer. He recommended the state to provide Lohar with the equipment due to his poor economic condition.
Lohar, a resident of Pinderabera village in Gamharia block of Seraikela-Kharsawan district, had met Munda, a former chief minister, and requested for a compound bow.
“Don’t know why the government is keeping things pending. I need the compound bow since the state and national championships are around the corner. I feel very disillusioned and don’t think I’ll ever get a bow from the government,” the 23-year-old Lohar added.
A compound bow costs around Rs 2.5 lakh. The promising archer had received a cash award of Rs 75,000 from the state government in September 2020 for bagging the gold medal in the Indian round section (shooting with traditional bows and arrows) in the senior national archery championship in Cuttack in 2019. However, he has almost exhausted that money.
“I had to clear debts and also invested some money in my poultry business. Anyhow, I could not have purchased a bow with the money I received from the government,” Lohar said.
The archer, who lives with his wife, infant son and elderly father, is digging a well in his courtyard in Pinderabera, a village facing an acute water crisis.
“I am continuing with my poultry business since I have no other way of income,” Lohar said.