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Olympic Medalist Turned ‘Gol Gappa’ Seller

After doing India vainglorious by winning two bronze medals at the 2011 Athens special Olympics, Sita Sahu, a mentally challenged teen from Rewa, today assists her mother sell 'gol gappas' in a ghetto colony. Official disregard has obstructed the 15-year-old athlete's likely career in tracks. There were two Cinderella instants in Sita's life. First when she attended seven other kids to Shivraj Singh Chauhan's residence on June 8, 2011 for tea with the chief minister. Less than a month later, came the crowning honor when she returned home on July 6, 2011 from Athens with two bronze medals -in 200 metres and 1,600 metres- from the special Games. "The 15-day stay in Athens had changed her completely-from a reserved and glowering girl to a reassured teenager. She learnt to comb her hair neatly and unify with other participants," said coach Sajid Masood who has since lost contact with her. Masood reckoned how proclamations of cash prizes pelted from the state government. Social justice minister Gopal Bhargava had proclaimed Rs 1 lakh for gold, Rs 75,000 for silver and Rs 50,000 for bronze. "Thus Sita was entitled to Rs 1 lakh. But nothing came her way disregard several reminders while the CM blessed Olympic winner from Haryana Susheel Kumar," he lamented. Usha Sahu, Sita's trainer and instructor from Rewa, recollected pensively how her protege's possible went waste. It was during an athletics event in Sneha School for the Mentally Challenged that Usha patched the shy and restrained 13-year-old who stumbled while walking but dashed like a colt. She step by step moulded her pupil who made it to the state and national level contests. The social justice minister told that neither the girl nor her parents ever met him. "Now that I know about her difficulty, I will make all inquiries and help her out," Bhargava told. Geeta Kamte, joint director in the department of social justice, changed the onus on the district administration. "The collector can allotment her assistance of up to Rs 2 lakh, but we have no such potency."

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