28 Para Athletes Due To Represent The Country Forced To Sleep On The Street, Probe Initiated
News, Image Source: Times Now
Apathy towards athletes is not new and in another incident where the case of indifference towards athletes has unfolded, members of the Indian team bound for the Asia Pacific Deaf Games (APDG) were forced to sleep on the pavements while waiting for the visa ahead of the competition beginning in Taoyuan, Chinese. Athletes who were part of a 40-member squad were left to their own will. Some of them spent the night outside a Gurudwara as authorities failed to provide accommodation.
28 hearing & speech impaired athletes who were to participate in the Asia Pacific Deaf Games mistreated in New Delhi pic.twitter.com/Oc8u8puCI1
— TIMES NOW (@TimesNow) October 2, 2015
The sports ministry held All India Sports Council of the Deaf responsible for this situation of differently-abled athletes.
However, the athletes managed to get the Taiwanese visa later on Friday but not much can be expected from the team considering their frame of mind less than 24 hours ahead of the competition.
Though an inquiry has been ordered into the incident by Sarbananada Sonowal, sports minister, Sports Authority of India (SAI) was also dragged into the controversy for not providing accommodation to the team.
Sonowal said, “I was very sad to learn about this. Whoever is responsible for this will be brought to book.”
SAI DG Injeti Srinivas described the incident unfortunate and said that nobody asked them for accommodation. He even said that there has been distortion of facts and held All India Sports Council of the Deaf responsible. The body has not even settled the accounts for the previous trip but despite that we made an exception and cleared Rs 50 lakh for the trip,” Injeti added.
Srinivas even said that the athletes visa was rejected because they did not provide the invitation letter of the Taiwanese embassy.
Moreover, the matter is taken up with ministry and Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) got involved. It is even said that the visa could not be issued due to server problem.
The attitude with which we treat our athletes is surely not gentleman behaviour but we do expect them to bring laurels for us. Though the athletes undergo through this trauma most of the time, it’s high time that a stringent action be taken.