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Pune: PCMC peon doubling up as sports coach transferred, athletes protest

Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sushma Shinde, who heads the PCMC’s sports department, said she has received complaints from athletes that Rustom Pathan should be brought back to the sports ground in Indrayani Nagar.

A peon with the Pimpri-Chinchwad Municipal Corporation (PCMC), Rustom Pathan is a former national-level player who has represented Maharashtra in pole vault and high-jump events. For over five years now, the 54-year-old has also been coaching youngsters at the Indrayaninagar sports ground, but the PCMC administration has now shunted him out to the Tax Department, triggering protests from athletes who aspire to play at the national and international level.

Asked about his transfer, Pathan said he now works with the PCMC’s tax department in Moshi. “Though my post is that of a peon, I double up as a sports coach because I have expertise in it… I have represented Maharashtra at all-India level tournaments,” he said. As a young athlete, Pathan had won several laurels and scholarships. Two months ago, he was honoured by the corporation as the best coach.

Assistant Municipal Commissioner Sushma Shinde, who heads the PCMC’s sports department, said she has received complaints from athletes that Pathan should be brought back to the sports ground in Indrayani Nagar. “Yes, it is true that Pathan is working as a sports coach as well as peon. He was apparently recruited to the post of peon by the PCMC a few years ago. But since he is an experienced athlete, we allowed him to do coaching at Indrayaninagar sports ground.”

“After Pathan was transferred to the Moshi tax department a few days ago, some athletes complained that they have no coach and that Pathan should be brought back. I have written to the civic administration regarding this,” she added.

When contacted, Additional Municipal Commissioner Vikas Dhakane said the PCMC chief had transferred some employees who had been working in the same department for seven to eight years. “I think Pathan got transferred in that reshuffle. I will talk to the Commissioner and get him back at the sports ground,” he assured.

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