Shooting coaches raise cudgels as SAI shares crumbs

All the Indian coaches had been working without pay for that duration.

New Delhi | Published:January 21, 2014 3:22 am

The issue of remunerating Indian coaches associated with the senior and junior teams has hit another roadblock. Most of the coaches — there are 22 on the panel — are ready to put in their papers after the Sports Authority of India (SAI) released amounts lower than what they were promised as pay for guiding the Indian teams for the past 15 months.

All the Indian coaches had been working without pay for that duration. It was only last month that the SAI sought their bank account details to transfer the money.

What flowed in though, was a pittance. One of the coaches, Deepali Deshpande, the chief rifle coach of the junior team, has already put in her papers. Others are waiting to follow her lead if Deshpande’s resignation is accepted.

In the meantime, they have decided to hand the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) a letter of their deliberations through this period.

When the appointments were announced in October 2012, there had been two brackets for salaries. The senior coaches were to be given Rs 50,000, while the other coaches were to get Rs 30,000. But the SAI decided to change the remuneration scheme to pro-rata basis later on.

Despite several reminders and representations, SAI finally transferred the money into the bank accounts of a few coaches. Deepali was credited around Rs 72,000 in her account. Sapna Chaman, who is on the junior pistol team, was given even less. The others share a similar experience.

“After a year, they get up and decide that let us pay the coaches on pro-rata basis,” said Jaspal Rana, who is the chief coach of the junior pistol team. “If it is on pro-rata basis, it means they are hiring experts. What is the the salary of experts if you are hiring experts from outside? We don’t even have a piece of paper that can prove that we have been hired as coaches.”

The NRAI top brass have taken up the matter with the SAI director general Jiji Thomson.

“I am aware that the coaches are not happy with the amount they were getting. We have to sort this issue out as quickly as we can. It should take 2-3 days. If we change the structure for shooting, we should do it for other major sports too,” SAI director general Jiji Thomson said.

No leeway for Bhagwat

Meanwhile, after Rana, it was Anjali Bhagwat who was stopped from shooting in the trials. She failed to make the cut after trailing on decimal points. NRAI president Raninder Singh clarified that the old practice of giving wild card entries had been stopped because it was unfair to do so during the selection process.

Rana was told on Sunday that he couldn’t shoot at the trials because he was a coach and it would amount to a conflict of interest.

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