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She picked gold, yellow fever in SA, now trying to get back on track

The Tribune 2018-08-10 02:17:00
Para-lifter Ramandeep says she didn't know she needed yellow fever shots for SA visit
Para powerlifter Ramandeep Kaur shows her medals to Punjab Minister Navjot Sidhu during a programme in Jalandhar on Thursday. Tribune Photo: Sarabjit Singh

Despite winning two gold medals in the Commonwealth Powerlifting and Benchpress Championship last year, Ramandeep Kaur’s life has taken a turn for the worse.  Almost 11 months since the gold medals, the 29-year-old para-powerlifter from Ghorewahi village near Bhogpur is still fighting to recover from the yellow fever that she contracted at the championship in South Africa. Ramandeep, who has an underdeveloped right leg due to polio, said that the yellow fever had caused weakness in her body. “There was no health screening for us when we returned. Also, I had no clue that we were required to take preventive medicines, which I later got to know the other participants had taken,” Ramandeep said. Due to the weakness, she was not able to train for a long time and had to miss many competitions.
Her troubles don’t end there. Ramandeep had to pledge all her gold, besides that of a relative, to get a loan of Rs 1.4 lakh for the travel and other expenses that were required to participate in the championship in South Africa.  “I was promised at that time that if I won an international gold medal, my case would be recommended for the job of a coach in the handicapped quota,” said Ramandeep.  “Since my return, I have made several visits to the sports department office and have even met local MLAs, but to no avail. I can see no future now”, she added. “The financial problems in my family have increased since my return. My husband (Gurpreet Singh), who had gone to Dubai for work, had to return because of my health issues,” added Ramandeep, who has a three-year-old daughter. “There is already a huge burden on us because of the loan and the medical expenses. Apart from that, I need a good diet to regain my strength to start competing again.”  Ramandeep, who contests in the 82kg category, doesn’t even have a coach. However, despite all the odds, she wants to take on the next challenge. “There will be trials held for the national camp in November and I want to be ready by then,” she said.

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