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Citing Andhra Pradesh government apathy, Indian archer Jyothi Surekha threatens to go on indefinite hunger strike

Jyothi Surekha Vennam
Modified 07 May 2018, 12:26 IST

What's the story?

Indian archer Jyothi Surekha has announced that she will be commencing an indefinite hunger strike after certain promises made to her by the government were not fulfilled. Surekha is alleging that a sum of Rs. 1 Crore, along with certain other benefits, which was promised to her by the Andhra Pradesh government has still not been paid.

In case you didn't know...

Jyothi Surekha was given the Arjuna Award in 2017 for her achievements in the field of archery. As a result, she became the youngest ever to win the prestigious award from South India. Surekha also became the first awardee to receive this honour since the bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh. Most recently, she won the bronze medal at the Archery World Cup in Shanghai alongside Abhishek Verma last month.

Heart of the matter

The 21-year-old archer threatened that she will begin an indefinite hunger strike after certain promises made to her by the government were not fulfilled.

Surekha was promised a sum of Rs. 1 Crore, a fourth of which was to go to her coach. She was also promised a house in Vijayawada and a government job. However, none of the aforementioned promises have been fulfilled so far and as a result, she has decided to sit on a hunger strike until the same is done.

Moreover, Surekha has claimed that the government is trying to redirect a portion of the amount promised to a person who has never coached her.

Speaking to the media, Surekha addressed the issue, "On August 31, 2017, I met Chief Minister N Chandrababu Naidu, who announced a cash prize of Rs 1 crore, house site in Vijayawada and Group-I posting. Several government officials were present."

"However, on May 4, I learned that around Rs 22 lakh was deducted from the total amount, due to a Government Order (GO) from April 2017. Additionally, another Rs 15 lakh was deducted to Cherukuri Satyanarayana for 'coaching'. He is not my coach and he never was," Surekha told the reporters in Vijayawada.


Apparently, Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh (SAAP) officials had struck a deal with Satyanarayana. "CM Chandrababu Naidu’s noble will of encouraging sports personnel is getting diverted with the personal motives of a few coaches and officials of SAAP and the government should respond immediately and do justice for me," Surekha told reporters.

What next?

Surekha said she will begin her indefinite hunger strike from Monday. It is still to be seen how long before someone from the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh addresses this issue.

Author's take

The allegations bestowed upon the Sports Authority of Andhra Pradesh by Jyothi Surekha are very serious and address a long-running problem with sports in our country. Too many times politics has meddled with sports and the results have been far from ideal. Hopefully, Surekha's issue can be addressed promptly and in a rightful manner.

Published 07 May 2018, 12:26 IST
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