While Sports Minister Ajay Maken has promised action against officials accompanying athletes at the London Paralympic Games for failing to discharge their duties, some have blamed him and the Sports Ministry for failure to tackle the problems facing the athletes before they went for the event.
“The problem is squarely with the Sports Ministry and with Ajay Maken. Ajay Maken has been personally aware of this problem from the day he took over as the Sports Minister,” Javed Abidi, Convener of the Disabled Rights Group told CNN-IBN.
Regarding the promise from Maken that the action will be taken soon, Abidi said, “Athletes checked into the village a week or 10 days ago. They have been crying since then. The matter has been known to the ministry, then why hasn’t action been taken earlier?”
“What happen at London Paralympics had to happen, I am not surprised,” he added.
Powerlifter Farman Basha said that he was not provided with an escort and that had affected his performance in the London Paralympic Games. Indian officials at the Games had alleged they had too few people to handle the necessities of all the athletes representing the country at the Games.
Abidi also alleged that that the Paralymics Committee of India(PCI), the core body representing the differently abled athletes, was not functioning for the benefit of the athletes and faced similar allegations during the Commonwealth Games.
“There was lot of corruption and mismanagement done by PCI during the Commonwealth games, which is when we raised our voices and dharnas were held. Ministry of Sports at that time had come under pressure and had withdrawn the recognition of PCI. Ajay Maken is the person who restored that recognition to the corrupt PCI,” he said
He also alleged it was political pressure that ensured that the body continued to function despite the complaints against it.
“When the recognition was withdrawn from PCI, Ratan Singh (PCI General Secretary and Congress MP) entered into an alliance with Sultan Ahmed (Trinamool MP and Union Tourism minister), and gave the post of President to Sultan Ahmed. With the help of politicians PCI’s recognition was regained,” he added.