Haryana Government Awards Empty Envelopes to 2014 Commonwealth Games Para-Athletes
A faux pas by officials of the sports department has shown the Bhupinder Singh Hooda government in Haryana in poor light.
Indian para-athletes Prashant Karmakar and Jaideep Singh were in for a rude shock on Friday in Sonepat. At a felicitation ceremony for sportspersons who won medals at the recent Commonwealth Games and Para Games in Glasgow, Karmakar and Sigh were handed empty envelopes by Haryana Chief Minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda. The government has admitted its lapse, calling it a clerical mistake. (Suggested read: Syringes found in Indian athletes' rooms in CWG Village, no evidence of doping)
Even though neither para-athlete won a medal at the Games, the state government awarded them Rs 5 Lakh each for participating in Glasgow. The oversight was only noticed after the para-athletes opened their envelopes and noticed their was no cheque inside. However, the Haryana sports department has assured that their cheques will be sent to them in 10 days time. (On the positive: A women's wrestling revolution in Haryana)
Organised at the Rajiv Gandhi Education City in Sonepat, Hooda distributed cheques worth Rs 13.72 crore to various state players who represented the country at the Games. (Also read: Wrestler Sushil Kumar most searched Indian athlete during CWG 2014)
Athlete Singh and swimmer Karmakar were shocked when they opened their envelopes to find nothing inside. "I stood fourth in discuss throw at CWG. I was deeply hurt after opening the envelope. The government should not treat sports-persons like this," Singh said.
While Singh turned up to receive his 'award', Karmakar's envelope was received by Haryana Paralympic Association general secretary Giriraj Singh.
"Though Prashant and Jaideep had not won any medal in Commonwealth Games, their names were included at the last minute," Giriraj Singh told media-persons.
Giriraj said that names of Karmakar and Singh were missing from the list that was handed over by the Indian Olympic Association to the Haryana government and the matter was brought to the notice of the sports department by the state paralympic association.