Indian women hockey champion Poonam Rani has opened up about how she feels that Indian athletes are being treated discourteously and disrespectfully by the Indian government. She launched scathing attacks at the government for not treating the sportsperson with due respect and for not providing them jobs even after they bring laurels to the country.
The 23-year-old was also distressed about her current job after she is not able to contribute to her family financially. She subtly revealed the fact that she is unable to buy professional sports shoes for herself due to her meagre income.
“Working as a commercial clerk in railways, I was getting an amount of only Rs 15,000 two months ago which has fortunately increased now. However, it is still not sufficient for me to buy good quality sports shoes. Moreover, I will stop getting money after I retire and my savings will only help me then.” Poonam said while talking to News 18 India.
The Hisar-born stressed on the need of better recognition for the athletes who represent the country in major tournaments and bring medals for the country. The government should not ignore the contribution of the athletes and should be active in awarding the sportspersons in any manner possible.
No job offers
“The previous Congress government provided various types of jobs to many sportspersons using sports quota, especially to Olympians. However, even after representing the country in Olympics and winning so many medals, neither have I received any appreciation or a job offer.”
“The Haryana government did take our job application forms after we returned from Olympics. But there hasn’t been any development on that yet. I am disheartened as to why I am not getting a job or an award,” she added.
Speaking about the disappointing result at the Rio Olympics earlier this year where they failed to win a single game. Poonam felt that the foreign teams were better in every department. They were better prepared and also had an advantage since India had lost some of its players due to injury. She, however, felt that Indian women hockey qualified for the Olympics after a long gap of 36 years which was an achievement in itself.
“The other teams were fitter and quicker,” quipped Poonam. “At the same time, 5 or 6 of our star players got injured during the tour of Australia. This is the reason why we couldn’t do well in the Olympics.”Published 22 Dec 2016, 16:21 IST