Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s clarion call ‘Beti padhao, beti badhao’ (teach daughters, promote daughters) seems to have boomeranged in Jharkhand.
For, the proposed Jharkhand Sports Academy being launched jointly by the state government and public sector undertaking, Central Coal Limited (CCL) has decided not to enroll girls. And what a silly reason they have come up with to justify their decision.
“If we cannot give them security, we should not enroll them,” said the project chief executive officer, Alok Kumar, who hails from CCL. He said, in order to accommodate girls, we need to first make proper security arrangements. At the moment, the academy is open for admission to only male children between 8-10 years of age,” he said, adding, “The Jharkhand State Sports Promotion Society (JSSPS) currently helpless in include girl students.”
Strange it is that the proposed academy coming up in a state where girls have excelled in national and international sports arena with the names of world archery champion, Deepika Kumari and Hockey India ex-captain Somrai Tete, wishes to keep its doors shut for the fairer sex.
“It’s a strange decision in an era where we are talking of gender equality and promoting girls in all spheres,” said Jharkhand women commission chairperson, Mahua Majhi. She said she would take up the matter with the government.
“If security is an issue how are the various centers for girls across the state running,” wondered former India Women Hockey captain, Asuntha Lakra.
The academy is coming up with an objective to offer training to sportsmen in eight sports disciplines. It is set to become operational from April at Mega Sports Complex, Hotwar in Ranchi.
A MoU was signed between the state government and the CCL on June 17, 2015 to utilize the world class sports infrastructure at the MSC to open a sports university and sports academies to nurture budding talents.
The JSSPS would enroll in all 78 players from a pool of 400 talents shortlisted in the first phase in hockey, football, volleyball, swimming, badminton, wrestling, archery and athletics events.
The organizers however were finding it hard to come across coaches for different sports discipline due to tough screening and selection procedures. Only two trainers have qualified for appointment till date qualifying the stringent JPSS selection norms
CCL CMD Gopal Singh said, “The students at the academies will be offered not only training in sports but also best education facilities. We are going to tie-up with the Central School and hope first school within the premises would come up soon.”
The Academy running in full steam would have 1,400 students (sportspersons) on its roll of which 750 would be from Jharkhand alone.
“Government and CCL would have quota of 350 seats each from State pool while the other 700 players would be selected across the country,” the CCL CMD said.