Arjuna Awards 2011: "Ignored" CWG Gold Medalist Renu Bala Chanu Returns Medals
Champion Weightlifter Renu Bala Chanu, on Monday, decided to return all her medals to the Indian Sports Minister after being look over for the Arjuna Award this year. The Delhi Commonwealth Games Gold Medalist from Manipur was hurt at the Government’s failure to recognize her achievements yet again after performing at the highest level for eleven years and winning medals at the international level.
“This is a big letdown for me after being at the top level for 11 years. I have been snubbed and cold-shouldered. It has hurt me and I have no motivation left whatsoever to continue in the sport. So I am returning the gold medal I won in the Commonwealth Games,” she told reporters while showing the CWG gold medal.
The 24 year old lifter, who has also won gold at the Melbourne CWG, has decided to quit the game unless she is assured by the Sports Minister Ajay Maken of honouring her with the award next year.
“How long I will wait? I may get injured and so out of competition and I may not be considered again for the award any more. I want an assurance from the sports minister that I would get the Arjuna Award next year. If I don’t get the assurance I will quit weightlifting,” she said.
Speaking about Ravi Kumar, the lone Weightlifter honoured with Arjuna Award this year, the Asian Championship bronze medalist stated that Ravi Kumar deserved the award but she is more deserving. “Ravi Kumar deserves to win the award but I am more deserving than him.”
Renu’s brother will be travelling all the way from Manipur to Delhi to hand over the medals to the Sports Minister. “My brother is coming from home to return the other medals,” she said. She has also informed about her decision to Indian Weightlifting Federation and clearly stated that she expects no help from them.
“I have informed of my decision to the IWF but I am not expecting any help from them,” said the CWG Gold medalist, who had to take an auto to reach back to game village, after being made to wait for four hours by the organizing committee following her Gold Medal lift.