World Cup winner and former Olympian archer Dola Banerjee from Bengal feels the resignation of the President of Archery Association of India (AAI), BVP Rao, has forced Indian archery to go backward yet again. Dola’s brother, Rahul Banerjee also has the same notion.
The ongoing chaos in AAI has been exposed yet again after the acting president Sunil Sharma rejected the election date of 9th June. It was finalized by the Committee of Administrators following consultation with the AAI secretary Maha Singh. The undercurrent clash between the two groups, one of former president VK Malhotra and another group of BVP Rao is no more a secret.
Dola Banerjee, speaking from her residence in Kolkata said, “AAI has been derecognized due to its administrative mess since 2012. With the increase of internal clashes in the administration, derecognition was bound to happen. The outcome of this will naturally have an effect on the archers as most of the government institutions have stopped recruiting.”
“For example, recruitment of national archers has been stopped by Indian Railways since AAI has been derecognized by the government. How can the Railway Recruitment Board onboard national champions if there is hardly any activity due to the ongoing mess. If this derecognition continues what will be the future of upcoming archers?,” she added. The only relief in this perspective is that the Indian Army has not yet decided to stop recruiting national level archers.
Rahul Banerjee on the other hand lamented, “Mr. Rao tried to bring the Association into shape. There were no national level tournaments in recent times, neither did we have any national calendar. Only the participation in international meet did not stop as teams were sent through Sports Authority of India.”
“Rao, within short time after sitting on President’s chair had organized a national ranking tournament. He was all set to build up national calendar.”
According to the international archer, Rao was trying to put the former Archer’s Association in place. The Players’ Association would have been given 33 percent rights of voting if Rao would have continued. However, the Archer’s Association is likely to submit a presentation to the Supreme Court, seeking its directive to solve the ongoing mess and revive its regularity.
“AAI has not contributed anything to any archer so far. The country’s top archers organize almost everything on their own expenses. The national team is being taken care of by SAI. It will be very difficult for the young talented archers coming to shine in their career going forward,” added Rahul.
Rahul and Dola, both seem to be anxious about the plight of Indian archery and believes if this continues, then archery might face a similar situation as Indian boxing faced few years ago.