Sudha Singh, the gold-medal winning pride of Uttar Pradesh struggles to find a job in her home state

Sudha Singh: The golden girl without a job

What’s the story?

Ace athlete Sudha Singh who won the gold for the women’s 3000 m steeplechase event at the prestigious Asian Athletics Championship in Bhubaneswar just last week, has been looking to find a job in her state Uttar Pradesh. But her efforts have so far not been met with success.

The context

A gifted athlete, for Sudha the gold is but just one of the many accolades she has so far earned. She had won a silver medal each at the 2009, 2011 and 2013 editions of the Asian Championships and has been desperately seeking employment in her home state.

So far, the Uttar Pradesh Sports Directorate, however, has shown no interest in assisting her with the same.

The heart of the matter

In order to support exceptional athletes like Sudha, the Uttar Pradesh government had issued an order to provide medal winners with Class 1 jobs, back in 2014. Sudha has been looking for a job since 2015 but two years have gone by and she is still having to run pillar to post with no definitive response in sight.

Hailing from Rae Bareilly, she currently serves the Central Railways as a Chief Ticket Inspector in Mumbai and has applied for the post of a Regional Sports Officer in UP.

The 31-year-old had clocked a spectacular timing of 9:59:47 seconds at the Asian Championship on Friday. Holding a national record for close to seven years and winning gold at the Asian games in 2014, Sudha has time and again brought accolades for India on the international stage.

She has been offered jobs in other places like the SAI owing to her achievements but is really intent on serving her own state. She would also like to have the opportunity to spend more time with family as her commitments at work keep her away from the same. She has even reached out to the Sports Minister regarding the same and plans to write to higher authorities if she doesn’t hear back soon.

Sudha isn’t the only one awaiting action from the government regarding her job. The 2014 Incheon Asian Games gold medal-winning discus thrower Seema Punia; bronze medallist shooter at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Mohd Asab; bronze medallist weightlifter also at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Swati Singh and gold medallist at the Women’s 4x400m relay at the 2014 Asian Games, Priyanka Pawar are others that are currently facing the same fate.

Also read: Is India's performance at the Asian Athletic Championships really something to go gaga about?

What’s next?

Sudha is all set to compete at the World Championships to be held next month in London. She wants to do well at the World Championships and break a national record there. She also plans to reach out to the Chief Minister of the state and Prime Minister Narendra Modi about her appeal for a job after she gets back from the event.

Author’s take

It is highly discouraging to hear that well-deserved athletes who show the potential to work hard and move the fraternity forward are only shown promises and no actions. The government must pull together a plan to successfully execute the order wherein people like Sudha get placed in their jobs rightfully.

Also read: Asian Athletics Championships 2017: List of all medal winners for India

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Edited by Staff Editor
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