The Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) left one of their athletes Kanchanmala Pande, who is completely blind, with no option but to beg in Berlin, where she was participating in the Para Swimming Championships, after the government money sanctioned for their tour did not reach them.
In another case of government apathy, Pande had to beg and borrow money so that she could participate in the competition in Berlin. Despite odds, Pande and Suyash Jadhav ended up winning silver and qualifying for the World Championships.
Abhinav Bindra, however, expressed anger at the kind of treatment vetted out to the athletes. He took it to the social media and wrote on his official Twitter account that people must be held responsible for the same. He wrote, “This is UNACCEPTABLE. People must be held accountable.”
— Abhinav Bindra (@Abhinav_Bindra) 12 July 2017
Bindra even tagged Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel in hope of reaching out to the higher authorities for the slip up by the PCI, which in turn blamed the Sports Authority of India for the lapse.
Horrible stuff to read… Changes need to be made in the way we perceive sport and the way we run it… The current system is a shame… http://t.co/rzGVuypIam
— Somdev Devvarman (@SomdevD) 12 July 2017
— Mahesh Bhupathi (@Maheshbhupathi) 12 July 2017
“I never thought I would face such problems. I had to take a loan of Rs 5 lakh so that I could participate in the tournament,” Kanchanmala, who is also an assistant with the Reserve Bank of India in Nagpur, told Mail Today. “I had to qualify for the World Championships and I don’t know why PCI didn’t understand its importance.”
“I was not given any official confirmation if I will receive a reimbursement for the expense I bore. I had to pay around Rs 70,000 (£844) for the hotel and more than Rs 40,000 (£482) for food,” she added.