Former hockey player Vincent Lakra farms in paddy fields for a

Former hockey player Vincent Lakra farms in paddy fields for a
Former hockey player Vincent Lakra farms in paddy fields for a living

CHHATTISGARH: After representing India in international hockey, former player Vincent Lakra now does paddy farming to feed his family of 11 members.

Official neglect has turned his life into a struggle in the Sithraa village in Dharamjaigarh block of Raigarh district, a remote tribal village in Chhattisgarh.

"Lakra was one of the best central forwards in the team that played 1978 World Cup in Argentina. His energy level was tremendous and he never used to get tired on the ground," said former Indian great Balbir Singh.

Due to unfortunate circumstances, he could not put on the Indian jersey. He played his final match way back in 1984.

While announcements of cash prizes for the Olympics and Paralympics are raining from the state governments, Lakra, even after playing for 14 years at domestic and international level was denied financial support from the Chhattisgarh government.

Vincent Lakra added Since 1984, I am living here at my village. I played many matches for Bombay Gold Cup, Aga Khan Cup of Pakistan and Murugappa Gold Cup in Chennai."At this point, no support has come in his way.

As a result of which, Lakra cannot give his children proper education or even provide them basic amenities. "I don't even have a pakka house to live. I get a pension of Rs 5,000 from the state government but that is not enough to support a family of 11 members," he added.

Former hockey player Vincent Lakra farms in paddy fields for a living