National-level shooters forced to pay NRAI for mere authority letter
What's the story?
Shooters who are competing in the GV Mavlankar Championship in Mumbai were required to give a signed letter from the National Rifle Association for exemptions from airlines. However, it was revealed that the letter was given to the athletes, for a sum of Rs 300, as well as an 18% GST applied.
A shooter participating at the event, told Sportskeeda, "This is an absolute shame. It is something that should have been given to the athletes free-of-cost. I was shocked when I had to pay for it."
He added, "Without it, it would have been impossible to compete and carry our guns, which is why we were forced to pay."
In case you didn't know
The GV Mavlankar Championship is considered by many shooters to be the pre-nationals and is the most important domestic championship after the Nationals. The competition began on the 14th of September and many shooters from across the country were gunning for this championship.
Airlines normally charge Rs 5000 for transporting firearms one-way, but they do grant athletes exemptions if they are able to produce a shooter ID and a letter from the federation.
The heart of the matter
The shooters competing in Mumbai have already paid an entry fee to take part and if they wanted to travel without the lett, they would risk having to shell out Rs 5000 to the airlines, it's a lose-lose situation for them.
While the athletes will grudgingly pay the required about for the letter amid mutterings. one can be sure that they will take up the matter with the Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, a former shooter himself.
Rathore has been doing a lot for sports in India since the start of his tenure, the latest being, announcing an allowance of Rs 50,000 each for athletes preparing for the Commonwealth Games, Asian Games or the Olympics.
It does seem rather odd that athletes have to pay a fee for just a simple letter and go through so much trouble to obtain it. We can only hope that the matter is brought to Rathore's attention and he takes the necessary action.