After struggling for almost a decade, there’s some good news around the corner for athlete Santhi Soundarajan, whose life took a tragic turn after failing a gender test.
Santhi, who has won medals at several international track and field events, is all set to get a permanent job as a coach with the Sports Development Authority of Tamil Nadu.
Speaking to BBC Tamil, Santhi thanked Jayalalithaa for making possible for her to get a permanent job. “I couldn’t even go out freely in the society. I hope this decision will put an end to all this,” she said.
Santhi’s friend and advocate at the Madras High Court told The News Minute, “She got many offers from private institutes which paid well. Santhi did not take them up because her aim is to cater to the poorer sections of society.”
The 35-year-old athlete now plans to file a petition in the High Court asking the central government to get back her 2006 silver medal at Asian Games restored through the Court of Arbitration for Sport. She was stripped of her silver medal which she won at the Doha Asian Games because she failed a gender test.
Santhi was diagnosed with hyperandrogenism, which is characterised by circulation of excessive testosterone (male hormone) in the female body. All her achievements were discredited from her and out of despair, she even tried to commit suicide. After that phase, she worked in a brick kiln in her home district.
As reported by The Hindu, Tamil Nadu Sports Minister K. Pandiarajan said the State will plead her case with the International Court of Arbitration for Sport. “In parallel, we will write to SAI, Indian Olympic Association and Athletics Federation of India to take up Santhi’s case in that forum,” he said. “It is not just about getting back the medal but also restoring Santhi’s dignity. The State government will do everything possible to get her justice,” the Minister said.