Sports ministry asks SAI to introduce new directives
The request comes following an incident of alleged harassment by SAI staff which led to the attempted suicide of 4 athletes, one of whom died.
New Delhi, May 20 (IANS) In the wake of the suicide attempt by four girls at its Alappuzha centre in Kerala, the sports ministry on Wednesday asked the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to introduce yoga as a compulsory activity and put in place a 24X7 helpline for trainee-related grievance redressal among several corrective actions in its training centres.
These directives are primarily designed to ensure the well-being of athletes at the SAI centres. The expenditure on these measures will be met from the allocated budget of SAI, a ministry release said.
A 15-year-old girl athlete died and three others were hospitalised after consuming a poisonous fruit in an apparent suicide pact following alleged harassment by seniors. The girls were undergoing training at the Water Sports Centre.
The corrective actions have been formulated by the ministry after examining the report submitted by SAI director general Injeti Srinivas.
The report suggests SAI to empanel counselling psychologists for group as well as one-on-one counselling and advocates all girls hostels to "compulsorily have a full-time lady warden" and all its centres "should preferably be run at least by assistant director level officers".
"Yoga should be introduced as a compulsory activity in all SAI centres as it would have a salutary effect on holistic development and emotional well-being of SAI trainees. Part-time yoga instructors may be engaged for this purpose. Organisations imparting yoga courses should be roped in," the release said.
"A 24X7 helpline should be introduced for SAI trainee related grievance redressal, especially for reporting the cases of sexual harassment and ragging. Security should be hired for all SAI hostels."