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PT Usha comes forward to support protesting athletes

Many medal winners have staged an agitation before the Secretariat, saying that the Kerala government had promised jobs to 249 athletes, but only 195 got it.

PT Usha comes forward to support protesting athletes
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By

Soumya Bontra

Updated: 7 Dec 2021 8:38 AM GMT

Indian legendary athlete PT Usha has come forward in support of athletes who have alleged denial of job promised by Kerala government, before the Secretariat.

The former Olympian said if the government had promised jobs to the medal winners, then it should be honoured. Speaking to the media she said, "Sportspersons won the medals for the state and the country with their sweat and toil. They should not be pushed towards agitation once the jubilation over their achievements has subsided."

PT Usha said that government jobs provide a sense of security to sportsperson which is definitely a motivation for young aspirants and making them take agitation will affect the sports sector negatively in the state. "Most athletes hail from not so well-off families. It would help them focus on their pursuits with peace of mind if they have a job."

PT Usha who herself hails from Kerala also said Kerala has always had the tradition of supporting athletes by giving them jobs and cash awards when it was not in force anywhere else. Hence, she believes that the state should continue with the tradition it has started in the field.

A total of 54 sportspersons who had won a medal in national games and other tournaments have been staging an agitation before the Secretariat, saying that the government had promised jobs to 249 such athletes but only 195 actually got it.

In March 2021, EP Jayarajan – sports minister in the first LDF government, had said that the government had given jobs to 580 sportspersons from 2016-2021 as opposed to 110 appointments made by the UDF government during its tenure from 2011-2015.

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