Maharashtra announces Rs.10 lakh, job for hockey player Walmiki

Maharashtra announces Rs.10 lakh, job for hockey player Walmiki

The state government has woken up to Walmiki’s economic plight and said he would also get "a dignified government job" to support his family, and a decent home.
Walmiki hails from a very poor background and his family has been struggling to make ends meet while allowing him the luxury of pursuing his career in hockey.

At least five members of his family, including father Sunil Walmiki, live in a tiny garage situated inside a building compound.

The dwelling is so small that half the household belongings like vessels are kept outside so that the family has space to sleep inside during this year’s heavy monsoon.

The various trophies and medals Walmiki has won over the past few years are lying on the floor, in the open, as his family members grapple to save them from the rainwater leaking through the roof.

“We have no other place to go to and cannot afford to buy any house in Mumbai. But we have allowed Yuvraj to play all the hockey he wants. We are happy he has brought such a big honour to the country,” his father Sunil, who does odd jobs, told media-persons here.

The makeshift home in the garage does not have electrical connection and so his two children completed their school education by studying at night under street lamps, Sunil added.

Stunned by the plight of Walmiki and his family, BEST chairman Sunil Shinde Tuesday ordered his department to immediately provide electric connection to the family.

Earlier in the day, Shiv Sena chief Bal Thackeray invited Walmiki to his Bandra residence where son Uddhav and grandson Aditya felicitated him.

“We shall do whatever possible for Walmiki, but I will not spell out right now. Let our actions speak,” Uddhav, the party’s executive president, said after the meeting.

Uddhav lashed out at the central government for the discriminatory treatment meted out to all other sports -- except cricket where the players get millions of rupees in rewards and other honours.

Walmiki shot into the limelight after he scored one of the penalties in India's 4-2 win over Pakistan in the Asian Champions Trophy final Sunday.