At a time when meritorious sportspersons of other states and union territories are being rewarded with special cash prizes and jobs in various government departments, players in J&K are deprived of the same benefits.
Sources said there was a recommendation in the sports policy draft wherein special cash awards would be given to players who win the top three positions or represent the state in national and international competitions conducted by the authorised sports bodies.
According to the sports policy draft, Rs 50 lakh cash award will be given to the gold medal winner in the Olympics followed by Rs 40 lakh for silver and Rs 30 lakh for bronze. The participation cash prize was fixed at Rs 5 lakh.
Similarly, for World Cup, it was recommended that the gold medal winner will be given a cash prize of Rs 20 lakh while Rs 15 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for silver and bronze medal winners, respectively.
Special cash awards were also recommended for sportspersons who perform outstandingly in the Asian Games, Afro Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World University Games, National Games, All-India Inter-University Tournament and National School Games.
“Meritorious sportspersons across the country who have bagged medals in international championships in different disciplines are not only awarded huge cash prizes but are also given jobs in government departments as per their qualification. However, there is no such recognition for medal winners in J&K,” Kuldeep Handoo, wushu national coach and an international player from J&K, told The Tribune.
“Leave aside big cash awards to the players, even their feats in international events go unnoticed at times,” he added.
International fencer Rashid Ahmad said nobody seems to be interested in implementing the sports policy for the betterment of players in the state.
“During our meetings with the higher authorities, we have repeatedly suggested the inclusion of sportspersons for the effective implementation of the sports policy but in vain. Merely drafting a policy does not work unless there are sufficient funds available to give a boost to sports in the state, which is lagging way behind,” Rashid said.
“Unfortunately, the annual budget of the sports council, which is little more than Rs 10 crore, is insufficient to implement the sports policy recommendations in case the government gives a green signal. More than Rs 200 crore is required annually to upgrade the sports infrastructure in J&K,” he added.
Recently, Naseem Javed Choudhary, secretary, J&K State Sports Council, had told The Tribune that the sports policy draft was still under process for its implementation.
“A copy of the sports policy draft has been forwarded to the Directorate of Youth Services and Sports for its suggestions and views. Experts are looking at the recommendations and suggestions for achieving excellence in sports,” Javed had said.
Source: Originally posted in Tribune