Apathy costs archer Vrushali a place in Indian team

Vrushali was among the 16 probables from 14 states and one of the two archers from Maharashtra picked up for the selection trials in the Compound round category. The trials were organised at Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Eastern Centre at Kolkata recently.

The archer claims that she had made up to the last six players and was just a point behind the first three players after the completion of second trials. But unfortunately, her bow broke down a day before the third trials. Left without any alternative, she asked for a bow from the Commonwealth Games Organising Committee (CWGOC) and also coaches and managers who had assured players of instruments before the trials began.

"When I was in need of help, I begged before the Secretary of Maharashtra Archery Association but he turned a deaf ear to my request for a new bow. That coupled with the apathy of the state government and Commonwealth Games Organising Committee shattered my dream of representing India at New Delhi Games," said a disappointed Gorle on her arrival at the Badnera Railway station here yesterday.

"My mother has now asked me to quit the game as my parents cannot afford the expenditure to ensure my continuation in this sport," she said with her eyes welled up.
It was indeed painful for an archer who had come so close to glory to think of quitting on a day when the country was celebrating Sports Day.

She even contacted Maharashtra Sports Administration and Pramod Chandurkar, Secretary of Maharashtra Archery Association, who is also Joint Secretary of Archery Association of India, but he too overlooked her demands.As a result, she performed by making some repairs using the handle and limbs of the other bow which affected her performance.

After the early exit of Lakshmi Sarikonda of Nagpur from the selection trial, Vrushali was the only hope from Maharashtra. The apathy of Maharashtra Sports Administration isn't new to the sports fraternity and Vrushali said that while Jharkhand government availed the bow to Jhanu Hasada and Bhagyawati Chanu immediately after their bows had broken, the Maharashtra government and Maharashtra Archery Association did not pay heed to her request.

She alleged that Chadnurkar expressed his helplessness and its only because she hadn't purchased a bow manufactured at his factory, which he was selling at a very high rate as compared to the markets. Vrushali, who hails from a poor family said that Chandurkar had demanded Rs two lakh for the bow which she had purchased for half the price from markets.

Also 12 coaches of various states were present for the trials including an Army coach from Nashik, but none from Maharashtra Archery Association was present during the trials, she said.

The Army coach extended help to Punjab players as he originally belongs to that state, she said. Gagandeep Bawa of Punjab has been selected in the Indian team along with Jhanu Hasada and Bhagyawati Chanu of Jharkhand.

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