International walker Maniram Patel has accused the Madhya Pradesh government of not just ignoring him for the Vikram Award, but also refusing to acknowledge his talent.
“I bagged medal for the state. I represented the country in several international events. But the sports department showed biased attitude towards me and sidelined my hard work,” said Patel, who has been working hard in the game for the past eight years. The Vikram Award, carrying a cash reward of Rs 20,000, is conferred to a senior sportsperson.
Maniram, who is currently being trained at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) in Bhopal, had bagged a silver medal in the National Games held at Ranchi in 2011. He had also qualified in level-B of the London Olympics and won five gold medals in the senior national athletics championship.
Disappointed with the “step-motherly” behaviour of the sports department, Patel is planning to leave his home state.
“After two factions in the state athletics association, I couldn’t represent MP in the senior national athletics championship. Now, this partiality is compelling me to leave the state,” he said.
Athletics Federation of India (AFI) senior joint-secretary Mumtaz Khan said Patel was “a deserving player” for the award.
However, director sports Upendra Jain said, “The name of the candidates are decided by a committee having experts such as former hockey Olympian Ashok Dhyan Chand and international shooter Mansher Singh. Maniram is taking the matter wrongly. If he really feels that injustice happened to him, he can move to the court.”