The Haryana government has approved a new policy proposing out-of-turn appointments in Haryana Civil Services (HCS) and Haryana Police Services (HPS), apart from Group A, Group B and Group C jobs, to sportspersons who win medals in Olympic games, world championships/Asian games, Commonwealth games and other sporting events.
The state, which accounted for 15 out of India’s 38 gold medals in 2010 Commonwealth Games followed by 22 out of the total of 64 medals won by India in 2014 Commonwealth Games, has sent 31 athletes of the total 218 Indian athletes in the ongoing Commonwealth Games.
The new policy, approved by Haryana’s cabinet on Tuesday, will categorise the appointments under new seven categories defined by the Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry. “Indian players have the potential to be world beaters and this policy will enable a sportsperson to have a security of dignified job corresponding to his achievement at world or continental level. In a first, same equivalence will be given to performances in Paralympic Games, Para Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cups as compared to open category,” said Ashok Khemka, principal secretary, Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs ministry.
In the last five years, players like wrestler Geeta Phogat and boxer Manoj Kumar have approached the Punjab and Haryana High Court for out-of-turn appointments on the basis of their medals in sporting events.
The new policy categorises the appointments in seven categories on the basis of the performance in Olympic Games/World Championships/Asian Games/Commonwealth Games and other events. It will be also for the first time in India that para-athletes from the state will also be eligible at par with open category sports persons under various categories. “We have been waiting for such a policy for years. This is a historic step by the Haryana government and has set an example for the rest of the country. My silver medal in Rio Paralympics Games has now become worth its weight and this step by Haryana government will ensure financial independence for the para athletes in the state. It will also motivate players who have won medals at Asian or Commonwealth Games to achieve more and do the state proud,” said 47-year-old Haryana athlete Deepa Malik, who won the silver medal in women’s shot put F-53 event in 2016 Rio Paralympics Games.
2014 Asian Para Games gold medallist Amit Saroha too lauded the move. Saroha (33), who belongs to Bayanpur village in Sonepat district, won silver in club throw in last year’s world para-athletics championships. “A lot of para-athletes leave the sport mid-way in their career due to lack of funds or job. This policy will ensure medal winners in continental games and Olympic games will not have to wait for a long time. The Haryana government should also consider land for academies for Asian games and World Championships medallists,” said Saroha.
The policy also includes the criteria for players playing in team games (5 or more players) in different events. Only Olympic medallists, who are eligible for out-of-turn appointments under the new policy but do not avail it, will be eligible for land up to 10 acres to be provided on long-term lease for opening of sports academy in the state.
While neighbouring states of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh do not have a specific sports policy, Haryana has become the first state in India to have one.
“This has happened for the first time in India for team events and the Haryana sports ministry has clearly defined the eligibility criteria under various games and events. Performances in quarter-finals or above in world events will also be counted and appointments will be made respective to the eligible post,” said an official of Haryana Sports and Youth Affairs Department.