Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore on Monday said that he will not hesitate to sack his officials if they delay sanction of incentives for athletes but additionally warned against false accusations. Speaking at a felicitation function for the Commonwealth Games medal winners, Rathore said there was no dearth of profit Indian sports nevertheless the funds will need to be used for justified purposes by the athletes as well as the federations.
“The officials in sports ministry and Sports Authority of India have been tasked to attend to your requirements and resolve your issues at the earliest. At any point in time if I hear that sportspersons are experiencing issues in getting these incentives and funds there are few heads that will roll,” the minister said.
“But before you (athlete) make any accusation, please be very sure that there was an error on our part and not in your part. There is this case that came if you ask me, an athlete was complaining that he or she wasn’t having the incentive money. I was planning to suspend among my officers but later found out that the money was allotted to that particular athlete 12 months ago,” he said.
India won 66 medals (26 gold, 20 silver, 20 bronze) in the Gold Coast CWG.In total 70 athletes won medals, counting the mixed team and doubles events in some disciplines. Rathore gave away the financial incentives to the medal winners in the clear presence of Indian Olympic Association President Narinder Batra.
A lot of the top athletes, including MC Mary Kom, Sushil Kumar, Saina Nehwal, P V Sindhu, Mirabai Chanu, Neeraj Kumar, Manu Bhaker, Anish Bhanwala and Jitu Rai turned up. The kind of Manika Batra and Heena Sidhu did not come because of their prior engagements.
The person gold winners received Rs 30 lakh each as the silver and bronze medallists got Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh respectively. All of the medal winners of team events got the varying sum of money in numerous disciplines.
Rathore also said the functioning of the IOA and the National Sports Federations has improved nevertheless the funds allocated in their mind by the ministry must certainly be properly spent.
“I’m finding a very positive sense from Mr. Batra. He’s already changing things within the IOA. The way IOA used to work that is not going to happen. Similarly a few of the NSF heads are brilliant and they’re doing a very good job.
“We works in close coordination together (IOA and NSFs). But each NSF or the their coaches need certainly to justify with logic that each penny being spent will be used to its optimum.
“There is no dearth of resources in India and we’re ready to open our finances for the usage of the athletes but these spendings will need to by justified,” Rathore, an Olympic silver medallist shooter, said.
The minister said strong performance by the Indian athletes at international events also reflects the soft power status of the country.
“Once the National Flag is unfurled and the National Anthem is sung anywhere in the world (in a sports event), every Indian feels proud and additionally it shows the soft power status of the country.
“I have always said the Indians have tremendous potential to complete well at the international stage even in strength-based disciplines. I don’t concur with the concept that Indians are good at only skill-based games. I want to ensure you obtain every facility that is required to be provided for you,” said Rathore.
Earlier each morning the, the medal winners interacted with Prime Minister Narendra Modi at his official residence. They also interacted with President Ram Nath Kovind later in the day.