In a heartbreaking news, Amartya Chakraborty, a 3-time national champion para swimmer died at 19, with his father now left pleading for money. The 19-year-old champion para-swimmer recently passed away due to ‘sudden cardio-respiratory arrest’.
The Howrah-based para-swimmer reportedly suffered from various diseases, including artery vein malfunction (AVM), scoliosis and more. The combination of AVM and scoliosis led to his body growing in an uneven manner.
Earlier in December, Amartya had another surgery and had been sent home to recuperate. However, his illness persisted and just four months later, he had to be rushed to a New-Delhi based hospital. Unfortunately, Amartya could not be hospitalized at AIIMS due to his father not being able to afford the expensive government hospital.
Amartya’s story is heartbreaking because he lost battles on two fronts – his battle with his illness, and his battle with the system. Amartya’s father appealed to the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for financial assistance. However, his appeal ‘fell on deaf years’.
Meanwhile, PCI secretary Gursharan Singh himself spoke about the matter and said, “Many a times, PCI itself is short of money to run its affairs and in this situation how can we offer financial help to athletes?”
The Facts of the Matter
Is it the lack of talent which stops India from leading the medal tally at international sporting events? With over a billion Indians, it’s statistically impossible for India to not produce enough talent that can put the country in a league of its own.
Unfortunately, the issue is complicated, and lack of systemic support by government and other sporting organizations makes it difficult for talents to emerge at a comparable pace. The story of now deceased 19-year-old para swimmer is a testament to the issue.
Cause of Death – Disability & Apathy of System
Amartya Chakraborty, a three-time former national champion in para-swimming recently died due to his prolonged illness. His tragic demise can be accounted to his disease, and the system’s apathy in providing him with timely aide.
Amartya’s father Amitosh Chakraborty said that he made multiple appeals to the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) for financial assistance. However, he added that his appeals had “fallen on deaf ears”. Mr. Amitosh is due to retire in the next two months, and has reportedly spent all his life savings on his son’s treatment.
Father Left Seeking Money to Take Son’s Body to Hometown
The situation is so dire that he is left pleading for any kind of financial help so that he can take his son’s body from Delhi to his hometown in Howrah district, West Bengal. “Puro bhikhiri hoe gechi ami (We’ve become like a beggar now) — no savings left, neck-deep in debt having blown everything on his treatment. This is the plight of a national champion in India, and someone who was given the ‘Best Swimmer’ award at 2017 Para Nationals,” he was quoted in a PTI report saying.
“Not in a position to help”: Paralympic Committee of India Secretary
Meanwhile, PCI Secretary General Gursharan Singh said that the committee itself runs short of money often and in such a situation, it becomes difficult to help athletes. “Our main objective is to promote para sports in the country and we have to spend the limited resources we have in this direction. We could have helped our athletes if we have enough money but unfortunately, we are simply not in that position as our financial resources are limited,” he told PTI.
The Inspiring and Heartbreaking Story of Amartya Chakraborty
The Howrah based para-athlete suffered with artery vein malfunction (AVM) and scoliosis. The combination of the disease led to his body grow in an uneven manner. After being classified under temporary disability, Amartya Chakraborty won the national titles at both junior and sub-junior levels thrice – 2015, 2016, 2017.