V Tejaswini Bai won the Arjuna Award in 2011.© Twitter

The Sports Ministryhas approved financial assistance of Rs 2 lakh for double Asian Games gold-medallist woman kabaddi player V Tejaswini Bai, who recently battled COVID-19 and lost her husband to the dreaded infection. The assistance has been sanctioned under the new joint initiative with the Indian Olympic Association to support former athletes and coaches during the pandemic.

The financial assistance has been sanctioned from the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Welfare Fund for sportspersons. Tejaswini and her husband contracted COVID-19 on May 1.

While she is on the path to recovery at home, her husband Naveen succumbed to the deadly virus on May 11.

“He was just 30 but he was panicking a lot after the death of his father. It was the fear and stress that took his life,” Tejaswini said in a statement issued by the Sports Authority of India.

“I was not expecting this (financial assistance) but the Sports Ministry, SAI and IOA took very prompt action to take this decision of giving us the assistance. This is the first time that we have been given such support.

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“Many people like us have financial problems and if we get the proper help, it feels good.”

Karnataka’s Tejaswini won the Arjuna Award in 2011, and was part of the Indian women’s kabaddi team that won gold medals at the 2010 and 2014 Asian Games respectively.

Tejaswini said she came to know about the initiative from Karnataka Sports Committee member and former Arjuna awardee Honnaappa Gowda and now wants to invest the money to safeguard the future of her child.

“I have to take care of my 5 months old baby and also invest in her future from this money. I am the only parent now and will have to do something for my child,” she said.

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