Former Commonwealth Games gold medallist Akhil Kumar called for cleansing of the system and action against those athletes who recommend multiple coaches for Dronacharya awards, saying that ‘guru ek hota hai.’
In an interview to PTI, the Olympian boxer said, “There are two ways to cleanse the system. You can try politely and if it doesn’t work, then use the rod. If there’s some sanction, they would realise. If you charge athletes under section 420 of IPC (for cheating), they will learn a lesson. I find it surprising that one athlete recommends multiple coaches for Dronacharya award. Guru ek hota hai (You only have one teacher),” he said.
An Arjuna awardee himself, Akhil said, “Take my example. I wouldn’t even know how many have applied for Dronacharya using my name. May be I haven’t even trained under them. If I discuss boxing with someone, he doesn’t become my coach. Look at our boxing (women’s). We have three Arjuna awardees and count the Dronacharyas!”
Akhil suggested that the Sports Ministry should revamp the entire selection process by making it online as solution. “Let’s have every information online. Name the contenders online, cite all their national and international achievements. Mention the points associated with each event and how much points each candidate has got. No one would then question the process. You don’t need committees for that.”
“Don’t just make it a draw of lots so that no one knows who’s getting the award and who’s not getting it. Make it transparent so that the sanctity of such prestigious award is maintained,” he signed off.