New Delhi: Never did she think that she would face days of starvation. However, distance runner Prajakta Godbole, a 2019 World University Games participant is now fighting starvation during lockdown. She has a paralytic father and a mother who has been rendered jobless due to COVID-19 lockdown. Prajakta Godbole does not know where her next meal will come from.
Prize-winner in Bhubaneswar half-marathon
The 24-year-old Prajakta resides with her parents in a Siraspeth slum in Nagpur. She represented Indian Universities in the 5000m race at the World University Games in Italy in 2019. She clocked 18:23.92s and could not qualify for the final round. She finished second in the Bhubaneswar Half Marathon earlier this year covering 21.097km in 1:33:05s.
Family in dire straits
Prajakta’s father Vilas earlier worked as a security guard but met with an accident and is paralysed now. Prajakta’s mother Aruna used to work as a cook at a catering service, earning Rs 5,000 to 6,000 a month. The amount was the only source of income in a family of three. But due to the lockdown, marriages are not happening. Prajakta and her parents are facing the stark reality of how they will get the two square meals a day.
“We are now surviving on help provided by people from nearby areas. They gave us rice, dal and other things. So, we are having something to eat in the next two-three days. However, I don’t know what will happen after that. This lockdown has been a cruel thing for us,” a distraught Prajakta said Wednesday.
Training plans shelved
“I am not even thinking of training. Rather I don’t know how will I survive in this situation? Life is very harsh for us. The lockdown has brought ruin to us,” added Prajakta. Her mother Aruna said she is just thinking when the lockdown will end. Then she would be able to start her work.
“We are a very poor family but at least we could survive with the money I earned from my job. However, my earnings have stopped. There is no income and we are penniless. We don’t know how long we will survive from others’ help,” Aruna said.
No sign of help
Prajakta said she does not know what to do in these circumstances. She has no idea who to approach.
“I don’t know what to do, my parents cannot do anything. We can just pray that this lockdown comes to an end. We are just waiting for that,” Prajakta said. She also said she has not sought help from any athletics officials in Maharashtra. “I don’t know very many people,” lamented the runner.