Ever since his retirement Abhinav Bindra has been closely working with the Sports Ministry for development of ‘Olympic sports’ in India. He has often taken to social media to express his grievances whenever our athletes aren’t dealt with in the right manner.
Recently, when Paralympian, Kanchanmala Pande was forced to borrow money from a friend in Berlin, where she was participating in the Para Swimming Championships, Bindra expressed his grave anger on Twitter and made people aware about the dire circumstances of the athletes of our country.
Pande was even fined for travelling without a ticket in Berlin’s public transport as she wasn’t provided with enough money by the Paralympic Committee of India(PCI).
Bindra wants the Sports Ministry to set up a athlete helpline in order to cater to the needs of athletes in emergency especially when travelling to foreign countries.
“The recent incident of our Paralympic athlete in Berlin raises a larger question of athlete management. Things like these continue to happen in Indian sport and leaves everybody in a bad taste and overshadows a lot of good work that is done. In this regard I have a suggestion.
The creation of a helpline for all athletes especially when in a foreign country to solve matters of extreme concern and having a contingency fund for unforeseen situations to provide just in time support to athletes would be a fantastic initiative to be taken up by the Sports Ministry.” said Bindra in his letter to the Sports Ministry.
— Abhinav Bindra OLY (@Abhinav_Bindra) July 15, 2017
Since, Pande’s dire state in Berlin was brought to the fore, Vijay Goel has tried his best to reach the crux of the matter.
Goel has asked the PCI to submit a report regarding the incident, and as to why were the funds not released.
“The Ministry through SAI released Rs 3.21 Lakhs as 75 percent of dues as advance payment to Para Olympic Committee of India (PCI) in time and arranged tickets etc. This amount was transferred in the account of PCI on 22nd June, 2017. Since the amount was transferred to the account of PCI, the players should not have been put to any hardship.” Goel said in a statement.
PCI has reportedly said that it could not distribute the amount due to the non-availability of court-appointed committee chairman.
Abhinav Bindra has been tirelessly working to improve the conditions of athletes in India, so as to encourage more youngsters to take up sport as a profession. If the current situation persists, and athletes aren’t dealt with in the best possible manner, India could lose out on a lot of good talent.