From a medal winning athlete to a brick kiln worker, that has been the fate of a 2006 Doha Asian Games silver medallist, Santhi Soundarajan.The 800 metre female runner had failed a gender test after winning the medal in Doha and life has been on a downward spiral ever since. Banned by the Athletics Federation of India (AFI) from competing at any level, Santhi's feats were struck off the records. Following the ignominy of a gender test, the manner in which Santhi's name and achievements were erased from the athletics records, Santhi lost all hope to the point of attempting suicide.
Today, she works as a daily-wager in a brick kiln, slogging eight hours under a scorching sun to earn Rs 200,(nearly $4) every day. Santhi, like many Indian track and field athletics, took up sport to find a secure job and escape grinding poverty.One of the five children of brick-kiln labourer parents, she overcame malnutrition as a child to become a middle-distance runner. Despite everything, Santhi still nurtures the ambition of representing her country in athletics again.But before all that, Santhi wants a job.
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