Manorama impact: Help pours in for poverty-stricken former state school champ

M S Sharika
Sharika, 19, and her family now live in a tiny, broken-down shelter with plastic roofing on a five-cent plot at Mathamangalam near Pattanakkad in Alappuzha.

Cherthala: Several individuals and organisations have come forward to lend a helping hand to champion athlete M S Sharika who has been living in extreme poverty.

Help has poured in for her family from various quarters following a report published by Malayala Manorama the other day about the plight of the teenager, who won gold in the senior girls’ javelin throw event at the 2015 State School Athletics Championship.

Sharika, 19, and her family currently live in a broken-down shelter with plastic roofing on a five-cent plot at Mathamangalam near Pattanakkad, and she is forced to sleep in the toilet, the only structure with concrete walls and roof at her half-built house.

After reading about the trials and tribulations of Sharika, block panchayat member T H Salam took the initiative to form a people’s action council to help her raise from the depths of poverty and to provide wings to her dream of becoming a physical education teacher.

The action council will mobilise funds to help the family finish the construction of their house, said K C Venugopal MP. “Instructions have been given to complete roofing works within three days. The house will be ready in a month’s time,” he said.

Financial aid will be given to her for pursuing higher studies as well, the MP added.

District collector M Suhas said an immediate financial assistance of Rs 10,000 will be provided to the family from his personal account. Kits, sporting gears and other resources for helping her return to the track would also be offered.

Sri Sathya Sai Orphanage Trust executive director K N Anandakumar, district police chief S Surendran (Janamaithri community policing scheme), World Malayali Council Kerala unit chairman George Kulangara, World Malayali Council Alappuzha chapter president P J Mathew, GJ Properties managing partner S Joy, and Rotary Club (Kochi Midtown) president George Valavi have also come forward to fund the construction of the house.

Daughter of Saseendran and Usha, Sharika was a Plus Two student of SCU Government VHSS, Pattanakkad, when she clinched gold in javelin throw at the State school meet three years ago.

After Saseendran stopped going to work due to health issues, the eight-member family has been dependent on the meagre income earned by Usha and brother Sarath by selling fish in the local market.

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