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Non payment of bills leaves India's special athletes stranded in Chinese Taipei

After spending a night on the road, India's Asia Pacific deaf games contingent face more apathy.

India began their campaign on October 3

After spending an entire night on the road, athletes representing India at the Asia Pacific deaf games were left stranded in Chinese Taipei, after authorities failed to pay their hotel bills. Their passports have been temporarily confiscated until the payment comes through. The Sports Ministry is trying to currently resolve the issue, by completing all dues to the hotel. 

A total 41 athletes and 12 officials were supposed to be a part of the India contingent. However, only 27 could travel to Taoyuan, due to budgetary concerns. The officials were under the assumption that the hotels for the event were booked, prior to their departure. The Sports Ministry were informed two weeks before the event. However, once they reached the venue, they were asked to pay the entirety of the amount.

All India Sports Council of Deafs, Somesh Sharma said, “Organisers were supposed to book hotels for 41+12, but, since we couldn’t confirm our contingent by September 10, we reduced it to 27, now we had told them, that we will be reaching on this particular date. The assumption was that rooms for 27 were paid. However, on reaching we were asked to pay the full cost o 41+12, that was $ 7200. We told them that we didn’t have that and they confiscated our passports and credit cards. We had even told them about our reduced size on September 23.”

He added, “I also received an email today from Sports Authority of India (SAI), that all necessary payments will be transferred.” The misunderstanding was caused because the Sports Authority of India (SAI), only confirmed their contingent on September 29, which was 20 days after the last date of submission. Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal has asked for an immediate inquiry into the matter and has also asked SAI, to provide all necessary support to the contingent.

Last week, the entire contingent had to spend the night outside a Gurudwara as they waited for the confirmation of their visas. SAI refused to provide accomadation to them.

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