The 23-year-old athlete is ready to take part in the upcoming tournaments.

The Sports Ministry has provided financial assistance of Rs 2.5 Lakh to deaf tennis player Jafreen Shaik from the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons (PDUNWFS) to continue her training despite hurdles in the quest to win a gold at the Summer Deaflympics slated to be held in Brazil.

Jafreen Shaik was the recipient of a bronze medal at the 2017 Summer Deaflympics in the mixed doubles event, where she partnered with Prithvi Shekhar and performed brilliantly in the tournament. It was India’s very first medal at the Deaflympics in tennis. She had also represented India at the 2013 Deaflympics.

Currently, She is residing in her maternal uncle’s house on payment of nominal rent and is unable to make ends meet to continue her training. Her father Zakeer Ahmed had to sell his only residential house in Bangalore and ornaments to bear her training expenses. She was training in China to participate in the Summer Deaflympics 2017. Prior to that, she had undergone training at the Sania Mirza Tennis Academy in Hyderabad for free from 2013 to 2017.

Jafreen Shaik now intends to get a sponsorship to undergo training at the PBI Academy in Bangalore with a one-year preparation for the upcoming Deaflympics.

SAI said in a statement, “As per the Deendayal Upadhyaya Fund, financial assistance up to Rs 2.5 lakh is given to sportspersons for training, procurement of different types of equipment and participation in national and international sports events.”

“Financial assistance is also given to the parents of sportspersons who are living in dire conditions. Sportspersons belonging to those sports disciplines whose federations are either derecognised or whose recognition has been suspended by the Government are also eligible for financial assistance under the fund, the statement concluded.

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