On Thursday, Asian Games gold medallist Swapna Barman revealed she is yet to get the plot of land that was promised to her by West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee.
As reported by PTI, Barman, who is giving the upcoming World Athletics Championships a miss, said that despite several requests, the finance committee has rejected the proposal.
After her gold-winning effort at the Asiad, the heptathlete was promised a plot of land near the Sports Authority of India Eastern Centre in Salt Lake to facilitate her training. She was nominated for multiple awards, cash prizes and even received multiple government job offers.
As wishes poured in from across the country, Mamata Banerjee offered her a cash reward of Rs 10 lakhs and also a job offer in the state government along with the promise of land. However, the state government has not fulfilled the promise. Barman was quoted saying:
Reportedly, the Jalpaiguri-born athlete also gave the example of 2002 Asian Games silver medallist Soma Biswas, who was provided land by the government.
In fact, archer Dola Banerjee (2010 CWG gold medallist), table tennis stars Mouma Das and Poloumi Ghatak, and swimmer Bula Chaudhary (all Arjuna awardees) were also awarded plots of land during the earlier regime.
She added, “I’ve just got Rs 10 lakh and a rented house, for which I’m paying rent of Rs 4,000 from my own pocket. It’s really frustrating and I feel ignored. No one is talking in favour of me. I don’t know what has happened to the promise.”
Barman is currently on the comeback trail, recovering from knee and back injuries. She will be looking to better her personal best of 6026 points and pushing it up to 6420 points, the Olympic qualifying mark.