Kolkata : He is still trying to make a name for himself, but that has not stopped teenaged shooter Shivam Thakur from doing his bit and helping athletes who are struggling to survive the COVID-19 pandemic.
At just 17, little known Shivam, who participates in 10m air pistol, said he wants to contribute 60 percent of his earnings over a period of three years to those athletes who are struggling to make their ends meet despite having the potential to represent the country.
Shivam, who also played cricket at the age-group level, stated he wants to put up his kit for auction including a pair of pads which were gifted to him by India all-rounder Hardik Pandya.
The shooter, who hails from Noida, earns about Rs 6-7 lakh in a year through his scholarship and funding programmes.
"I want to help athletes who are struggling for finances. I have time. I want to help those athletes who have it in them to play for India but can't because of money. I want to do my bit, whatever little I can," Shivam told IANS on Sunday.
As per the shooter, he is the brand ambassador of (School Games and Activity Development Foundation) SGADF, which he started himself in 2017 to help budding sportspersons realise their dreams.
"I will try and help for the next three years. Now it is 60 percent of whatever I have earned so far through various platforms but if needed I will do more," he said.
Shivam also said he wanted to be a fast bowler growing up but a ligament injury in 2015 in Kerala put paid to his plans. "I just could not run for a long time. So I decided to take up shooting. I wanted to represent India. During my cricket playing days, Hardik bhaiya had gifted me a pair of pads. I thought along with that, I will also auction my cricket kit and add that in my bid to help the needy," he added.
Shivam has been selected to represent India in the next Youth Asian Games, slated to be held in the UAE, the European Youth Games in September and the World Youth Games in Portugal.