SAI library in shambles | india | Hindustan Times
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SAI library in shambles

Even as the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee is harping on building a legacy for the future, the Sports Authority of India is failing to preserve a 26-year-old library, inaugurated by former prime minister of India, late Rajiv Gandhi in 1983, reports Sahil Sharma.

india Updated: Sep 04, 2009 23:05 IST
Sahil Sharma

Even as the 2010 Commonwealth Games Organising Committee is harping on building a legacy for the future, the Sports Authority of India is failing to preserve a 26-year-old library, inaugurated by former prime minister of India, late Rajiv Gandhi in 1983.

The library, housed inside the Indira Gandhi Stadium, is in a state of utter neglect with the SAI authorities not doing one bit to stop its rapid deterioration. Books, mostly related to sports and worth Rs 2.5 lakh, were destroyed by the incessant rains over the last couple of days while they were being shifted from their prescribed place in the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to IG Stadium.

Some prized books dating back to 1956, and having records of Indian Olympians and athletes, have become scrap. The new SAI headquarters at the Nehru Stadium — constructed at a cost of Rs 40 crore — had earmarked a place for the library in its original design, but the place is now being given to Commonwealth Games officials.

SAI director-general, Sayan Chatterjee, refused to comment, saying it was "an internal matter.” The library was housed in the newly built Nehru Stadium building for only a few months before the powers-that-be decided to move it to IG Stadium. It is the second largest sports library in the country after NIS, Patiala.

“The library had been allotted ample space inside the Nehru Stadium building. But the SAI authorities allotted that space to top CWG officials,” a SAI official said.

Athletes like PT Usha, Ajit Pal Singh and RVS Rathore were frequent visitors to the library, which was created to give junior players an insight into top athletes' training methods and records.