KENDRAPARA: Pravakar Behera, a promising para sportsman in wheelchair fencing, has been running from pillar to post to arrange funds to participate in world championships.
He wants to participate in the para world wheelchair fencing championship in Lonato in Italy, scheduled this month, and Paralympics in London in August.
He hails from a nondescript village of Ramakapur, 40 km from here.
His right hand and left leg were paralysed when he was just two year old. Previously, Pravakar had taken part in the national championships with significant achievements. Just six months back, he had won one gold and one silver in the national para sports meet in Bangalore.
Secretary of Odisha Para Olympic Association (OROA) Bishnu Charan Sahoo said there were no sponsors to help Pravakar. “He needs about Rs 2 lakh to purchase equipment and cover his travel expenses. Unfortunately, even the government has not come forward to help him,” he said.
Pravakar runs a betel shop in the village for livelihood and practises wheelchair fencing for four hours daily. “Some villagers had collected about Rs 10,000 to help me to participate in both the international games, but the amount will not suffice. I have approached people’s representatives and bank officials, but everyone refused help,” he lamented.