Inderjeet Singh: Another Unsung Hero in The Plight Of Athletes
Nothing seems out of the blue when sportspeople, other than cricketers, complain about lack of support from the system. The cases range from dilapidated living conditions in NIS (National Institute of Sports) Patiala to poor quality of food served to Asiad athletes in Indira Gandhi Sports Complex. The cries of the athletes are apparently falling on deaf ears as no action is being taken to improve the support system for the athletes. Inderjeet Singh, the bronze medal winner in shot put in the Asian Games, can be added to the list of athletes who have lashed out at authorities for lack of support system for the athletes.
Lack of job or support system from the authorities has, at several instances, forced the 26-year old to think of giving up his dream, but the persevering young man has still carried on. It is truly sad that the path of success is filled with obstacles, and the government doesn’t seem to be ready to lessen the burden on the athletes. The 6’5″ tall young man, weighing around 150 kg, shot to fame last year when he won a silver medal for India in the World University Games. He was the first Indian to achieve this feat but his efforts went largely unacknowledged. He had to compete in the competition with borrowed shoes as his baggage had been misplaced by the airport authorities.
The journey was still not easy for the shot put athlete. He sought help from the University Grants Commission (UGC) for future funds, but the powers-that-be turned a deaf ear to his request. “It doesn’t fall within government policy,” is the repeated strain. A recent e-mail to the UGC chairman also went unanswered. According to Inderjeet,”The University Games are very big. I would call it next to the Olympics. But why do we send people to represent the country there if we are not willing to support them. Around 41 Indian students participated there but why waste money by funding that trip if you are not with them for the long haul”.
The 26-year old had to sell two of his family shops to continue with his training. With a throw of 19.63 metres, Inderjeet stood third in the Asian Games. The athlete was determined to win gold but adverse conditions and lack of support staff affected his performance greatly. He had previously attained the 20-metre mark in his training.
After his father died in 2007, his family consists of his mother and his elder brother who have not left any stone unturned to help the talented boy. Inderjeet spends nearly 1-lakh every month on his training with no support from the government. The government just did the paperwork of rewarding him with 6-lakhs, rather than helping him in the long run. Such instances are not new but with the story of the poor plight of athletes being depicted in movies, there is still some hope for improvement in the present condition for athletes.[Image Attribute: SportsKeeda]