While politicians rush to honour sportspersons for winning medals at international events, offering them government jobs and cash rewards worth crores, there have been instances where they have been called out for not keeping promises.
The latest accusation was put out against the Punjab government by a specially-abled Chess player from the state. Malika Handa, who has won a gold and two silver medals at the World Deaf Chess Championships, on Sunday said that she was informed that the state government can’t give her a job and cash reward as the government does not have any such policy for deaf sports.
Ms Handa said that she was “clearly” told by the Punjab Sports Minister Pargat Singh that the promise was made by the minister in the previous government and the current government “cannot do” anything about it. She also added that her five years got wasted.
“I am very feeling Hurt. 31 dec I met sports minister of Punjab Now He said Punjab Govt can not give job and Not cash award accept to (Deaf sports) because they do not have policy for deaf sports. Ex sports minister have announced cash award for me I also have letter of invitation in which I was invited but was cancelled due to covid. This thing when i told to present sports minister @pargat singh he told clearly it was ex minister I did not announced and govt can not do (sic),” Ms Handa tweeted on Sunday.
According to Ms Handa, the former Punjab sports minister had announced a cash award for her.
I m very feeling Hurt
31 dec I met sports minister of Punjab @PargatSOfficial
Now He said punjab Govt can not give job and Not cash award accept to (Deaf sports) because they do not have policy for deaf sports.
– Malika Handa???????? (@MalikaHanda) January 2, 2022
“I am only asking why it was announced. My time Waste 5 years on Congress govt. They fool me.. not care deaf person sports. District Congress all told me that supports , promised me after 5 years that happen is nothing now. Why why Punjab govt doing this ? (sic)” she added.
This is not the first time that sportspersons have aired their grievances against state leaders on social media.
In 2019, Twitter witnessed an unseemly war of words between Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij and ace shooter Manu Bhaker over a promised cash reward
The controversy was sparked off by a tweet from the 16-year-old sportsperson, who wondered if Mr Vij actually intended to honour his promise of giving her a cash reward of ₹ 2 crore for winning the Youth Olympic Games-2018. Her post contained screenshots from the politician’s Twitter handle and a simple query: “Sir, Please confirm if it is correct… Or just Jumla (false promise)…”
The screenshots showed Mr Vij announcing that Haryana’s BJP-led administration will grant the sportsperson a cash prize of ₹ 2 crore, as opposed to the ₹ 10-lakh monetary awards given by previous governments.
Ms Bhaker has made her mark in shooting ranges across the world, winning multiple golds in the ISSF World Cup and Commonwealth Games, besides the top prize at the Youth Olympics last October. She hails from Goria village in Jhajjar.
In 2018, sportspersons had locked horns with the Haryana government over a controversial order requiring them to deposit one-third of their income from professional sports or commercial endorsements with the state sports council. Chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar later suspended the order.