No MLA, minister of senior officer of the government have called Ashwini or her parents, Yashoda and Chidananda Shetty of Jansale, a little known village in Kundapur, near here.
Ashwini’s run electrified the 50,000-strong crowd at the Nehru Stadium as she took over the baton from second leg Sini Jose 10 metres behind the English and Nigerian runners, making up the deficit with a herculean effort and handing the baton to anchor Mandeep Kaur a metre ahead of the Nigerian third leg runner, ensuring that India got gold.
With Ashwini’s deer-like sprint, all Mandeep had to do was to maintain the lead. Among those impressed was Lord Sebastian Coe, the celebrated middle distance runner of the 80’s and the head of the London 2012 Olympics.
But for those who matter in Karnataka, all that meant nothing. Chidananda Shetty told Deccan Herald that apart from former minister K Jayaprakash Hegde who congratulated Ashwini over telephone, no other elected representative bothered to call her up.
He said Maharashtra, Haryana, Punjab and many other state governments have announced cash awards varying from Rs 10 to Rs 50 lakh for their athletes who won medals in various events, but the Karnataka Government failed to even greet her. A very hard working girl, Ashwini had not visited her native place for over a year because of training.