This is one incident that should have stirred the Sports Ministry into taking prompt action.
Unfortunately, the news report and photographs —published in the Hindustan Times last month—about World Boxing Champi-onship bronze medallist Renu Gora being made to wash utensils and serve tea to officials and visiting journalists at the National Institute of Sports in Patiala, failed to make a difference.
On Thursday, Sports Minister M.S. Gill told the Rajya Sabha that the practice of having women boxers (diploma students there) serve, was a “normal courtesy extended to distinguished guests.”
In reply to a question from Himachal Pradesh Member of Parliament, Viplove Thakur, Gill said: “The report that appeared in the Hindustan Times has come to the notice of the government…An internal inquiry conducted into the incident has revealed that diploma students of the institute had served refreshments to members of the (boxing) selection committee comprising eminent sportspersons, who visited the institute in connection with the selection trials for participation in the World boxing Champio-nships, which is a normal courtesy extended to such distinguished visitors… “
That’s not true, as both our report and photos showed. Still, in that case, perhaps Beijing Olympic Games bronze-medallist in boxing, Vijender, also present at the time, could have done the same.
Unless of course, he was let off by virtue of not being female. Read this part of a press release from the Indian boxing federation: “Haven’t we all grown up seeing our mothers, sisters and ladies of the house looking after the guests, right from our childhood. Are they doing demeaning jobs?” What next Dr. Gill?