India's lone individual Olympic gold-medallist and part of the Prime Minister-appointed Olympic Task Force, Abhinav Bindra has requested the Sports Ministry to set up a helpline for athletes who travel abroad for tournaments to avoid hiccups and financial issues.
This comes two days after he helped highlight the plight of Indian para-swimmer Kanchanmala Pande on Twitter, who was reportedly left to fend for herself without enough finance in Berlin where she was participating in the Para Swimming Championships. According to reports, Kanchanmala was forced to borrow money from fellow swimmers during the Para Swimming Championships in Berlin after the funds sanctioned by the Sports Authority of India did not reach her on time.
In his letter dated 14 July, Bindra writes: "The recent incident of our Paralympic athlete in Berlin raises a larger question of athlete management. Things like these continue to happen in Indian sport and leaves everybody in a bad taste and overshadows a lot of good work that is done. In this regard, I have a suggestion.
The creation of a helpline for all athletes especially when in a foreign country to solve matters of extreme concern and having a contingency fund for unforeseen situations to provide just in time support to athletes would be a fantastic initiative to be taken up by the Sports Ministry."
— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) July 15, 2017
After Bindra's tweets, many athletes have voiced their concerns regarding the matter including Mahesh Bhupathi, Jwala Gutta, Somdev Devvarman, Deepa Malik among others.
Updated Date: Jul 15, 2017 16:39 PM