Bureaucratic apathy crushes dreams of Taekwondo sportsman

Bureaucratic apathy crushes dreams  of Taekwondo sportsman

Caught in the bureaucratic red tape, the dreams of 18-year-old Nagarjuna V to make it big on the sporting arena seems all set to come crashing down even before they can take wings.

Nagarjuna’s plight lends truism to the bitter truth that sporting fraternity in the country is given step motherly treatment despite sports policy being in place. But then trust the officials of Bruhat Bangalore Mahanagara Palike (BBMP) to understand the utmost urgency of sportspersons like Nagarjuna that they need to be helped on time or they are left stranded ruing a golden opportunity lost.

For, it was a dream come true for Nagarjuna when the lad was informed by his proud Taekwondo master that he been selected to participate in the International Taekwondo Tournament at the Jalnawala Korea Fest in South Korea. This was on May 20. However, with the participating fees for the event being Rs 1.25 lakh, Nagarjuna was left with no alternative but to knock the doors of the BBMP for funding his trip.

Sure enough, the then BBMP Commissioner, Siddaiah, who had heard the lad’s appeal for help, had graciously promised that all possible financial support would surely come his way.  But with Siddaiah gone, making way for the new incumbent, M Lakshminarayana, the aspiring sportsman’s seem to have been pushed into the byzantine procedural bottlenecks of BBMP and who no possible succour in sight.

According to Nagarjuna, despite all documentation — right from Aadhaar Card to visa to passport, among others ready — undue delay on the part of the new commissioner and other Palike officials, taking their own sweet time to grant his request for funds, he may yet again lose out on taking part in the tournament. The lad was invited last year as well but could not make it for want of a passport.

Tourney from July 8

Mumbai-based Jalnawala Sports Training and Research Centre, handling the tour of selected few students from India for the tournament, told Nagarjuna to not delay submitting supportive documents and send them by June 20. The various events of taekwondo  tournament begin on July 8.

“For the past two weeks, I am visiting BBMP office but nothing seems to move the nonchalant administration. I first handed the file to Palike Education Department, J C Road, which, in turn directed it to BBMP head office on June 5. Since then, the documents have remained unattended and unsigned. I met few BBMP officials in the last three days and briefed them about my plight. “But my pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears, as they claimed that the commissioner was too busy,” said Nagarjuna.

Impressive record

Nagarjuna’s list of achievements includes securing gold medal in All India Taekwondo Championship 2012 ( Juniors Category), representing Bangalore in All India inter-university taekwondo tournament (men) in 2012, participating in junior Jalnawala International Martial Arts Summit in 2011, among others.

Nagarjuna holds both the Palike adminstration officials and BBMP Education Department responsible. “I had submitted the documents to the BBMP Education Department Education Officer Ventaka Krishnaiah on May 27. But he delayed and retuned them for further verification to BBMP higher officials only on June 5.”

Krishnaiah, when contacted, attributed the delay to complicated process involved in signing of documents. “The money will be released by BBMP Chief Accounts Officer only after file verification is done by Additional Commissioner, Welfare Department and the commissioner. Hence, it will take time.”

With the deadline virtually at the end, Nagarajuna seems to have lost out yet again on representing the country and bringing laurels to the nation.  How many more Nagarjunas will have to sacrifice themselves at the altar of official apathy before the bureaucratic monolith wakes up to the immediacy of the situation, only time will tell. One only hopes Nagarjuna does not let his sporting dreams die but relentlessly pursue it until he emerges victorious to bring the coveted medals.

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