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Khelo India athletes from Jharkhand made to serve refreshments to guests during felicitation ceremony

Sohinee Basu
159   //    26 Jul 2018, 20:21 IST

Jharkhand players seen serving refreshments to the guests at their own felicitation ceremony. (Screengrab)
Jharkhand players
serving refreshments to the guests at their own felicitation ceremony. (Screengrab)

What's the story?

A disturbing and controversial event took place on Sunday, in a felicitation ceremony for the Khelo India players in Jharkhand, much to the dismay of the athletes present. The players in whose honour the event was designed were reportedly subjected to some serious insult.

The programme was organised by the state organisers of Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha. In what can be said as a very odd and perhaps inappropriate act, the felicitated players were made to distribute the refreshments to the guests present at the beginning of the event, which included several respectable and unassuming ministers.

In case you didn't know...

Earlier, upcoming teenage shooting sensation, Manu Bhaker's return from the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games and her stellar gold win in women's air pistol event, a function was organised to feliciate the 16-year-old prodigy in April.

However, things turned awry when Bhaker was made to sit on the ground during the felicitation ceremony whilst another minister occupied the chair meant for Bhaker. The young teenager later clarified that it was she who had offered the chair to the minister.

The heart of the matter

In Jharkhand however, there was no case of offering involved as the Khelo India players were given no option but to serve refreshments.

The ceremony was conducted to honour the state team of Jharkhand, which has qualified to play in Khelo India Tournament. BJP minister Chandreshwar Prasad Singh was also present at the event along with the AVBP leader Dharampal Singh and other ministers.

The ministers had come to felicitate the players and encourage them on their future endeavours in the upcoming tournament. But, it turned out to be an event which turned the joke on the players.

As seen in the videos posted by journalist Anand Dutta, the players were asked to distribute tea and biscuits to the guests. One of the organisers is also seen in the video, asking the players to distribute the snacks to the guest, much to the bewilderment of the players who didn't have much say in it.

This distressing incident happened at the Bharatiya Janata Party state office, where many state BJP and ABVP leaders were present. The minister later garlanded all the players. The team of 65 members then left for New Delhi on the same day to attend Khelo India tournament.

What's next?

The Khelo India tournament that began on 24th July was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and BJP president Amit Shah. More than 8,000 players across 27 states and 733 districts are participating in the pan-Indian tournament.

It's sad to see players being treated this way in an event that is meant to honour them. It creates a very bad image for the State and such occurrences should stop for once and for all.

Sohinee Basu
I am this teeny-tiny adult kid with a horrible obsession of poetry and words. It will be too less to say that I love everything about tennis and a certain Roger Federer also! I love everything from the smell of old books to the thrill of watching tight matches!
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