A day after assuring support to Asian Games medallist Khushbir Kaur, whose family has been living in a shed after her college failed to construct the promised house for the family, deputy chief minister Sukhbir Singh Badal on Wednesday announced to allot an MIG (middle-income group) house to the athlete in Amritsar.
HT was the first to highlight the plight of the athlete, whose family was forced to live in a cowshed at Rasulpur Nikkar village, 25km from here, after her college, Khalsa College for Women, failed to construct the house for her.
HT had apprised Sukhbir of the matter here on Tuesday. Following this, Sukhbir had asked the district administration to provide him the details of the family by Wednesday morning.
A statement issued on Wednesday evening read, “The deputy CM, who learnt of Khushbir’s plight in Amritsar on Tuesday evening, drove in especially on Wednesday afternoon to meet chief minister Parkash Singh Badal at the latter’s official residence. He requested the chief minister for the allotment of an MIG house to the athlete.”
“I am deeply pained to see the star performer suffering the neglect. Our government which is committed to uplifting the poor, the meritorious and the sports fraternity, has to come to her aid,” he pleaded with the chief minister, who assured him all help.
According to the statement, in the evening, the chief minister and the deputy chief minister met again and the officers concerned were told to expedite the allotment of an MIG house to the athlete.
College releases money
Meanwhile, after facing criticism for not keeping the promise of getting a house constructed for Khushbir, the Khalsa College Governing Council (KCGC) on Wednesday released Rs 5 lakh for the house.
Though the college that had announced in October last year that it would get the construction work done, has now decided to hand over the money to the family and let them construct the house.
The college authorities led by KCGC honorary secretary Rajinder Mohan Singh Chhina showed the cheque which, they claimed, would be transferred into Khushbir’s account.
After the family had demolished the existing rooms at Rasulpur Nikka village in the hope that the college would construct the house soon, they had no choice but to live in the shed.
Chhina said, “We were committed to helping Khushbir and the college has been supportive of her since she joined it. We did promise to get the house constructed but there were coordination issues with the family. Our intentions were never wrong. Now we have decided to hand over the money to the family.”
Reacting to the move, Harjit Kaur, the elder sister of the athlete, said they were fine with what the college authorities did on Wednesday. “Since they have announced that the money will be transferred into Khushbir’s account, we are satisfied. Even Khushbir told me that she was satisfied with the college decision and would get the house constructed on her own.”
Harjit also thanked Sukhbir Badal for coming to the rescue of the family. She said the family had informed Khushbir, who is in Portugal training for the Olympics, of the development and she had expressed happiness.