Four days after Haryana government put on hold its notification seeking share of endorsement fee and professional league income of players working in the state government departments, the Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Department has issued an order asking the state’s Sports Director not to treat medals won at junior, sub-junior and youth level at par with those in senior categories while giving out cash awards. Reiterating the 2015 Haryana Sports Policy, the order restricts the cash awards in these three categories to only four events at national and international level.
The order, which was issued on June 7 last week by Ashok Khemka, Principal Secretary, Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs, states: “A senior category tournament cannot be equated to the corresponding junior, sub-junior and youth categories. There is no provision in the Haryana Sports and Fitness Policy 2015 for cash award to junior, sub-junior or youth categories apart from Youth Olympic Games, Youth Asian games, Youth Commonwealth Games, and National School Games. It further adds, “Cash award is not admissible to a medal winner in the junior, sub-junior or youth categories tournaments other than Youth Olympic Games, Youth Asian Games, Youth Commonwealth Games and National School Games. No deviation shall be made while processing cases for cash awards.”
Talking to The Indian Express about the order, Khemka said: “The Sports Policy of 2009 and 2015 has provision for cash awards to senior level tournaments only, which are recognised by International/National Sports Federations affiliated to IOC/IOA respectively or organised by GOI/GOH. Junior, youth and sub-junior levels other than those indicated in the order addressed to the Director were not covered in the Sports Policy of either 2009 or 2015. Union Ministry of Sports allows cash awards at 1/3rd and 1/6th (of the senior level award money) to junior and sub-junior categories, respectively. The matter is pending with honourable CM for consideration of cash awards to junior, youth and sub-junior categories. Till such time, the Haryana Sports Director has been directed to clear all cash awards as per Sports Policy 2015. A financial wrong committed earlier for any reason cannot be allowed to perpetuate,” said Khemka while talking with The Indian Express.
While the Sports Policy does not mention about cash awards for junior, sub-junior and youth players winning medals in competitions apart from the above mentioned four events, the players from the state at this level were given cash awards for winning medals at international tournaments in the past, including last year at an award function in Ambala.
“We do not have a job at this point and a month’s training costs Rs 20,000. More than 1,000 athletes took part in IAAF Asian Athletics Championships in Japan, where I won the gold medal. The government should make the criteria for all eligible sportspersons at the junior level too,” shared 19-year-old Haryana athlete Ashish Jakhar, who won the gold medal in hammer throw event in Asian Junior Athletics Championship in Gifu, Japan last week.
Meanwhile in a late development, the Haryana government replaced Jagdeep Singh, Director Sports, Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Department with 2003 Haryana IAS cadre officer Amit Kumar Aggarwal. Aggarwal will also be the special secretary in Haryana Sports Department.
Singh’s daughter, Gauri Sheoran, is an international-level shooter and was also one of the junior players to likely to be given cash award at last month’s award function before it was cancelled. Singh is a 2003 Haryana cadre IAS officer and had taken the charge of Director Sports in December 2016.