Specially abled athletes blame official apathy

Chaos and confusion prevailed for some time at the state sports awards presentation ceremony, organised by the Department of Youth Empowerment and Sports here on Tuesday, when a section of specially abled sports persons vented their ire against officials for neglecting them for financial assistance under the new ‘Sports Excellence’ scheme.

The sports persons, who later met Chief Minister Siddaramaiah, appealed to him to give their due. The chief minister’s promise to look into their demand could not soothe their frayed nerves. They threatened to end their lives by consuming poison before the media later.

Tulsidhar from Bengaluru, a specially-abled discus thrower, said: “I won bronze in a tournament held four months ago. My application for financial aid is ignored for two years now.”

This time, only Niranjan M, a para swimmer from Bengaluru, has been considered for the benefit. Similar was the plight of Boregowda from Mandya, Shayeena, G Manjunath and M Manjunath from Bengaluru, Shekar Kakandike from Bagalkot, who claimed to have come all the way from their respective places to the ceremony to air their grievances.

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