PUNE: India’s top pistol shooter Saurabh Chaudhary‘s personal coach Amit Sheoran is struggling to make ends meet.
The coach, who has played a pivotal role in shaping Saurabh’s career, is living relying on his ward’s help while staring at an uncertain future.
With his academy in Binauli near Meerut shut due to the virus spread, the coach is left with no source of income to run his household.
“The academy has been shut for more than three months. I can’t even ask the kids for fees as there has been no training happening. I have run out of savings and since the academy is my only source of income, I have run out of money to run my home,” Sheoran, who had spotted and trains Saurabh at home, told TOI.
Sheoran says he doesn’t see his situation getting better and has pinned his hopes on the prize money he was expected to get after Saurabh’s gold medal at the Asian Games in 2018.
“I had given my file to the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) after the medal. I don’t know the status of the file, and I am not aware of the procedure, but it will be a huge relief if I get the prize money now,” he said.
Sheoran is eligible to get about Rs 9 lakh, 30 per cent of Saurabh’s prize money, being his grassroots level coach.
The coach said he is able to manage two meals courtesy of his protégé, Saurabh.
“I grow some vegetables in the backyard, that is how we are able to eat. Saurabh has been helping me as per his capacity. But he can’t help me forever, and nobody knows when things will be back to normal again,” he said.
Other than Saurabh, three more shooters — Monu Kumar, Yuvika Tomar and Deependra Singh (para) — are coached by Sheoran and have made it to the Indian team. The shooters have also been included in the sports ministry’s Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS).
A source at the NRAI informed that the files for the Asian Games prize money have been sent to the ministry last week.
“After verification of all documents, there were over 1500 pages to be signed. The files have been sent to the SAI office,” a source said.
Sheoran had participated in state and national-level competitions in 1998 and 1999. He had to quit shooting after his father’s death in 1999.
He started coaching in 2010 and within two years, his students started winning medals and were recruited by the army.
He found Saurabh at the end of 2014 and has been training him since then.