Sports Ministry approves Rs 2.5 lakh assistance for former powerlifter Joseph James

New Delhi: The Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports (MYAS) has approved an amount of Rs 2,50,000 for international powerlifting coach Joseph James under the Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay’s National welfare for the Sportspersons.

This financial assistance comes under the jointly collaborated initiative from the Sports Authority of India (SAI), the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), and the MYAS to support ex-international athletes and coaches amid the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

Winner of the Asian Games gold medal in 2006 and a gold at the Asian Powerlifting Championship in 2008, Joseph James developed serious breathing issues on April 24 after contracting COVID-19 virus a few days back.

His oxygen levels were low and the family had to admit him to the Vivekananda Hospital in Hyderabad on an urgent basis.

 He was in ICU for 7-8 days and was discharged on May 5.

He is stable now and is under home quarantine.

Thanking the Ministry, SAI and IOA for extending the timely financial help, Alica Joe, daughter of Joseph James in a statement said, “One of the members from the Telangana Olympic Association and the IOA, Mahesh Sagar informed us about the initiative. He gave me the details to fill in and he followed up with the respective authorities.”

 “It is really great help from the Ministry at this time when even it is difficult to get support from our families and friends. I am obliged that the Sports Authority of India has remembered us when we were in need,” she added.

KJ Yadav, General Secretary, Telangana Olympic Association, also thanked SAI, MYAS, and the IOA.

“On behalf of the entire Telangana Olympic Association and the entire Sports Community of Telangana State, I am very much grateful to the Ministry of Youth Affairs, Sports, Sports Authority of India and Indian Olympic Association for extending the financial assistance to Joseph to meet his medical expenses. Thank you for supporting the sportspersons in these difficult times,” Yadav said.