The Sports Authority of India (SAI) does not respect Sports Minister, M.S. Gill’s, writ! At least that’s what it seems in the case of Ajit Singh, a former U-18 inter-zone national pole-vault champion, who has been paralysed neck-down since January 2005.
After taking note of the report published in HT on Sept 3, 2009, highlighting the plight of Ajit (23), the Sports Ministry had come forward to assist the Bhiwani-based youngster, who has been confined to the wheelchair since hurting his spine during the School Nationals at Pune five years ago. Gill had ordered SAI on Sept 4 to get in touch with Ajit so that the Ministry could sanction a grant or start a pension.
Nine months have lapsed, Ajit is still awaiting aid from the Ministry.
Two SAI officials from Bhiwani had got in touch with Ajit in mid-September and collected his medical bills, but since then, it’s been radio silence.
“If I get some financial help I might live a couple of more years. With each day, my condition is deteriorating,” said Ajit.
“I injured my back during a meet and the govt should have at least shown a gesture.”
After the injury, Ajit underwent a couple of operations, including a stem cell implant. But the expense of around Rs 20 lakh has been of little use. To add to his woes, one kidney has failed and the other isn’t fully functional.
Ajit’s monthly expenses, including medicines, add up to Rs 25000. But the only help that has come his way is the Rs 97,000 from the Bhiwani Sports Council. He had submitted his medical bills to the state health department and applied for the Union Sports Ministry’s pension in 2007, but he is still awaiting a reply.