Our Sportspersons Need Full Support

Shared from the 2018-09-06 The Times Of India – Delhi eEdition

Got no help from Delhi govt, says Asiad bronze medallist

‘Would Have Won Gold Had I Got Support’

New Delhi:

Asiad bronze medal-winning wrestler Divya Kakran stunned the audience at a felicitation ceremony in the presence of chief minister Arvind Kejriwal on Tuesday, when she slammed the Delhi government for not providing her promised financial support to prepare for the competition.

The 20-year-old Delhi girl, who shifted to Uttar Pradesh last year, said she would have won gold at the recently concluded Jakarta Palembang Asian Games had she been given the support promised to her by Kejriwal after she had won a bronze at the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year.

Divya, whose father worked as a labourer, said she got nothing from the government despite writing a reminder letter to the CM and making calls to his office.

In a letter to the CM on May 5 this year, Divya had stated: “I need financial and infrastructure support to prepare for the Asiad. The government should take steps to provide better diet, travel, training and living space so that my enthusiasm to win medals for the country continues to be strong.”

“We are poor but we have huge determination. Everybody is supporting me now (after winning the medal), but nobody supported me when I needed support the most… If the government extends help during the period of preparation, we can give our 100% and win gold,” Divya told the CM at the event, where she was being felicitated along with 10 other sportspersons.

Kejriwal, in response, said although it was not the right occasion to count all the “obstacles” in the way of the AAP government’s functioning, many policies of his government had been stopped at the “top level”.

Picture

The CM awards Sakshi (Malik) 1 crore, but he doesn’t have time and money to recognise the talent of his own city girl. I have been struggling for funds… My father is a labourer and mother a housewife. What I had demanded from the CM was money to prepare for the Asiad.

What I got in return were empty promises. If I haven’t won a gold at the Asiad, it’s because of the Delhi government

— Divya Kakran Asiad bronze medallist in wrestling

Picture

The sports policy of Delhi had many drawbacks. The AAP government tried to improve it… The policies we have drafted so far have been somehow stopped at the top level for various reasons

— Arvind Kejriwal CM

‘Left Delhi for UP as I had no choice’

Kejriwal said Delhi’s sports policy had many drawbacks. “After coming to power, we tried to improve it. Many other players also informed us about the problems they are facing. The policies we have drafted so far have been somehow stopped at the top level for various reasons,” the CM said, indirectly blaming the LG.

A source in the LG office countered the charge, claiming, “No file related to providing financial assistance or facilities to sportspersons was sent by the AAP government to the LG for approval.”

Kejriwal stated that after SC judgment the government was able to implement the policies it had drafted. On August 28, the AAP government announced an increase in the reward amount for the medal winners of the 18th Asian Games in all the categories. The amount was increased to Rs 1 crore from Rs 20 lakh for gold medallists; Rs 75 lakh from Rs 14 lakh for silver medallists, and Rs 50 lakh from Rs 10 lakh for bronze medallists. The government has also doubled the cash incentive for trainers of medal winners from Rs 3 lakh to Rs 6 lakh, the CM said.

“We could do it only after the SC judgment which said that the elected government’s decisions were final and need not be sent to anybody for approval,” Kejriwal said.

Divya is a resident of East Gokulpuri near Loni in east Delhi. “CM (Kejriwal) would award Sakshi (Malik, Olympic bronze winner) Rs 1 crore, but he doesn’t have time and money to recognise the talent of his own city girl. I have been struggling for funds owing to my humble background. My father is a labourer and mother a housewife doing odd jobs like sewing clothes. We have been living in a rented flat. What I demanded from the CM was just funds to prepare for the Asiad. What I got were empty promises. If I haven’t won a gold at the Asiad, it’s because of the Delhi government,” Divya told TOI.

Divya said she had won more than 50 medals while representing Delhi. It was due to Delhi government’s ‘apathy’ that she started representing Uttar Pradesh.

“I didn’t have any other choice. Look at the governments of other states. In Haryana, athletes get Rs 3 crore for winning gold at the CWG and Asiad. Even for bronze, they get nothing less than Rs 1 crore. Odisha government gave Dutee Chand Rs 3 crore for her two silvers. Even UP is offering its Asiad gold medal winners Rs 50 lakh. What has the Delhi government given me?” she asked.

Divya said she was raising the issue for the sake of other upcoming wrestlers. “This fight is not about me. It is for all those women wrestlers from Delhi who have suffered at the hands of Delhi government. This fight is about making their future bright so they don’t suffer this official apathy,” she said.

Picture

Wrestler Divya Kakran celebrates after winning the 68kg bronze in Jakarta

See this article in the e-Edition Here

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: