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Month after national sports awards, winners waiting for cash prize, trophy

Written by Mihir Vasavda
, Nitin Sharma
| Chandigarh, New Delhi |

October 9, 2020 1:07:48 am


Dronacharya Award winner and wushu coach Kuldeep Handoo (Supply: File)

It’s been greater than a month for the reason that nation’s premier sports activities awards had been introduced to 74 sportspersons, coaches and establishments from throughout the nation in a digital ceremony — with the President becoming a member of on-line and an enormous hike in prize cash. However a number of winners advised The Indian The Press Reporter they’re but to obtain the cash or the trophy.

The explanations: the last-minute announcement of the hike for a bigger pool of winners that has left the Ministry scrambling for funds, time taken to replace the winners’ KYC particulars for direct switch, and a software program glitch.

Confirming the delay, a Sports activities Ministry official advised The Indian The Press Reporter that the money prize “must be transferred within the coming three or 4 days”.

On the morning of August 29, earlier than the awards had been introduced on-line with a link-up to Rashtrapati Bhavan, Sports activities Minister Kiren Rijiju introduced an enormous hike in prize cash: from Rs 7.5 lakh to Rs 25 lakh for the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Rs 5 lakh to Rs 15 lakh for the Arjuna Award.

“The hike, together with a considerable improve within the variety of award winners (from round 30 to 74), meant that the funds earmarked at first of the monetary yr didn’t show to be ample. For the reason that finances allotment received exceeded, we needed to get the cash from different present heads,” the official mentioned.

The official additionally mentioned that there have been “technical glitches” within the authorities’s on-line direct profit switch software program. “This yr, there was a directive that everybody ought to get the prize cash from the web direct profit switch software program of NIC (Nationwide Informatics Centre). We needed to request all winners to offer KYC particulars…the technical glitches have been sorted now,” the official mentioned.

Talking to this paper, a number of sportspersons mentioned there was no communication from the federal government on the explanations for the delay or once they would get the trophy and prize cash.

“It shouldn’t be delayed like this within the age of digital funds. There are some athletes who want the cash for coaching,” mentioned a number of Winter Video games Olympian and this yr’s Arjuna Award winner Shiva Keshavan.

A number of the different Arjuna Award winners, reminiscent of wrestler Rahul Conscious and boxer Lovlina Borgohain, mentioned that they haven’t received money or the trophy, both. “I’ve supplied all of the related particulars to the Ministry. However I’m but to obtain the cash in addition to the trophy,” mentioned Conscious.

Dronacharya Award winner and wushu coach Kuldeep Handoo, and boxing coach Shiv Singh who gained the award within the lifetime class, had been among the many others who confirmed the delay.

READ | Kuldeep Handoo: Dronacharya coach is architect of Wushu’s development

“It feels unusual to be a Dronacharya winner with out a trophy. I perceive the issues which have come up on account of Covid, nevertheless it felt awkward once I arrived in Jammu with out a trophy. The wushu college students in Jammu and now in Srinagar, the place I’ve come, had been desirous to see the trophy. A few of my pals had been teasing me, saying ‘have you ever truly acquired the award or not’,” Handoo mentioned. “Then I confirmed them the certificates, they usually began clicking selfies with that. Till I get the trophy, the certificates shall be like a trophy,” he mentioned.

The awards are handed over by the President on the Rashtrapati Bhavan. However this time, because of the pandemic protocols, the winners had assembled at varied centres of the Sports activities Authority of India (SAI) nearest to their base or residence and got the certificates within the on-line presence of President Ram Nath Kovind.

In line with the Ministry official, the federal government is exploring the potential for holding one other operate at a later date for the bodily handover of the trophy. “There have been a number of requests from winners to have a ceremony as soon as the pandemic subsides. They need a photograph alternative whereas receiving the trophy with the Sports activities Minister and the President, if attainable. So the trophy presentation has been placed on maintain,” the official mentioned.

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