Official apathy leaves VTU archers in lurch

Denied entry, team left to fend for itself in cold Amritsar

Archers from the Visvesvaraya Technological University, Belgaum (VTU) have been left in lurch in the cold of Amritsar following a bungling over their entry forms for the All India Inter-University Championships, set to begin on Tuesday.

The authorities of the Guru Nanak Dev University (GNDU) barred entry to the team of nine archers, including four girls, a coach and a manager citing non-arrival of entry forms while the VTU officials claimed the forms were dispatched by post on January 15 -- well before the January 18 deadline.

However, a team source in Amritsar alleged that VTU took things lightly, assuming there would be spot entries like in previous editions and made little effort to resolve the crisis upon realising their mistake.

“We reached GNDU at 2.00 am (on Monday) and the authorities refused admission, saying we have not sent in our entries,” the source told Deccan Herald on condition of anonymity. “They knew they had to send in the entries by January 18 but they simply didn’t, under the assumption that they can register on the spot.

“The GNDU flatly refused to hear our pleas and said it is our mistake and we need to face the repercussions. We had nowhere to go and spent about four hours in the bus stand, battling extremely chilly weather. The coach then checked us into a hotel, which is very cheap to say the least. I wonder how the girls are going to stay here because even I feel very unsafe,” said one of the archers.

“All of us are carrying expensive equipment and we fear they might be stolen. My friends from the Bangalore University, whose forms were dispatched well on time, have no problems and are geared up for the competition. Hours of practice seem to be going down the drain,” he said.

It is also learnt that after repeated requests from the coach and manager of the VTU team, the GNDU officials said they will allow them to participate in the event provided they get a clearance letter from the Association of Indian Universities.

“Yes, they were willing to take us provided we get the approval. We immediately called (VTU Physical Education Director) Bette Gowda sir and apprised him of the development around 11 am. It’s been eight hours since but we are yet to hear anything from him. Our hopes of participating in the event are as good as doomed.”

Gowda, however, refuted the allegations and said he is confident of resolving the crisis. “We sent the forms well ahead of time and like six other colleges, our forms too have gone missing. Ever since I heard the news, I’ve been trying to contact AIU officials.

“I’m also trying to explain our stand to GNDU vice-chancellor. I know we are facing a tough deadline but I’m confident the team will be able to participate.”

When asked if arrangements will be made for the team to return to Bangalore if they are denied entry, Gowda refused to comment.
DH News Service

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