Tuesday, March 28

Seventeen-year-old golfer extends help to caddies through online fundraiser

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Nikita Biswas (17), a student of Class XII, always wanted to be a professional golfer. When Nikita was just two years old, she started accompanying her father to the gold course and soon got herself admitted to one of the major golf teaching centres in the city.

According to Nikita, Golf is one of those sports wherein the player has to be self-dependant. “While playing, I have to take the pressure of the game and cannot depend on a team. And during the entire process, only the caddie stays beside you. I started realising that caddies are an extremely important part of the game. And like any other golfer, I developed a very nice bond with the caddies. I would spend hours on the golf course, where caddies would be my only friends. I practically grew up among them,” she said.

Everything was fine till the lockdown started. A caddie’s earnings depended on the rounds he made for a player, which became almost nil as no one would go to play golf. “According to the present norms, we earn Rs 400 per round we accompany a player and on a good day we can have up to four rounds,” said Sajal Mahato, a caddie. So, throughout the year, their income would be anything between Rs 15,000 and Rs 25,000 per month. But in the last four months, it went down to less than Rs 3000.

Nikita was in touch with most of the caddies. She would call them to find out how they were. It was then she got to know about their present condition and Nikita decided to help them somehow. “In April, I gathered about Rs 33,000 to help the Covid victims and donated the money to an NGO. I took the similar approach for these caddies,” Nikita said.

First, she contacted her friends and family members for fundraising and then she started approaching different online platforms. As of now, she has collected around Rs 10,000 and help is constantly pouring in. “Within a week or so, I will donate the money and after that, as help comes in, I will keep on donating to one of the golf clubs or the caddie association,” Said Nikita.

A spokesperson from the Kolkata Caddie association agreed with Nikita and said that at present any help would be appreciated.The senior members and golfers, on the other hand, are also happy with Nikita’s approach. “It is a great initiative and when it is coming from a little girl it is even more special. This holistic approach is something really special,” said Prasant Jalan, a golfer and a senior member of a city-based Golf Club

Source: Times of India

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