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Asian Games 2018

Manika Batra neglected while Arvind Kejriwal triples cash rewards

Manika Batra neglected while Arvind Kejriwal triples cash rewards
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Published: 29 Aug 2018 1:12 PM GMT
It spells sadness when official promises are not honoured. The ethical wrongness of it all comes across in an even more glaring way when the signs are made by governments to individuals who are representing India in various fields and doing the country proud internationally. In April, Manika Batra's heroics in Gold Coast ushered in a new era for Indian Table Tennis. The sport, which had hitherto been more popular in India as recreation was now started to be taken seriously as a medal prospect for Indians. Post the Commonwealth Games; the Delhi Government had announced a cash reward of Rs 14 lakhs for Manika
after she made sure of most medals that the Indian Table Tennis teams won at the tournament. Before the Asian Games, however, The Delhi Cabinet today approved an increase of at least three times in cash incentive to outstanding sportspersons from the national capital for their achievements in Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games including Para Games. The controversy had started when cash rewards were announced after the Commonwealth games but they were found to be not at all at par with what states like Haryana or Tamil Nadu had been offering to athletes in the wake of their accomplishments.
A cash prize of Rs 1.00 Crore for an Olympic or Paralympic Gold has been raised to Rs 3.00 crore,
and the price of gold medals at competitions like the Asian Games and the Commonwealth Games now warrant Rs. 1 crore and 50 lakh instead of Rs 20 lakhs and Rs 14 lakhs as mandated previously. Objectively, this seems to be a good move by the government because it provides incentives for sportspersons to put in their best performances everytime. The presence of such bonuses also ensures a wholesome development of sport by making it popular among the masses. Source: Twitter However, when one starts asking questions, the reality is clearly visible.
The Bridge contacted sources close to Manika to reveal that, as of August 29, the prize money that she had been promised by the Delhi Government post the Commonwealth Games has still not been conferred upon her. As per the last update available on July 30, a Government official had been quoted as saying that the case in question had been referred to relevant people who would then be taking it forward. Precisely what is the point of, in a sense, tripling the cash reward offered to an athlete in lieu of their accomplishments if the money does not reach them? All in all, Manika Batra is now at a position to receive an amount of Rs 1.7 crore from the Delhi Government for her two Golds, a Silver and Bronze at the Gold Coast Games. And this amount is excluding the money that she has earned today with Bronze in the Mixed Team category at the ongoing Asian Games. Is announcing a prize amount enough? What is the system of follow-ups that Indians can bank on? Is this the way athletes ought to be treated? The AAP Government must surely be lauded for their prompt action when the athletes of the Capital Region expressed dissatisfaction on the amount that they were offered by the government. Maybe, it is now time to shift the focus from mere legislations and worry about the execution of the same.
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