It's been almost a month to national Sports Day, when Madhya Pradesh government felicitates its extraordinary players. But due to apathy of administrative officials, the government is yet to declare names of the players for the award.
The sports experts are afraid as it seems the department would repeat the history, when awards pending for three years were given in single ceremony in 2007. "We have finalised the list of awardees and submitted it to the Sports Directorate. But the senior officials are not approving it due to some unknown reasons," said a member of award committee on the condition of anonymity.
Last year, the awards were delayed for five days as presence of ace shuttler Saina Nehwal was expected in the award ceremony. But this year it has been delayed for almost a month due to apathy of administrative officials.
The state sports awards, which include Eklavya Award, Vikram Award, Vishwamitra Award and lifetime achievement award, are given to players and coaches every year on August 29, on the occasion of legend hockey player Dhyan Chand's birthday.
Every year, the Directorate of Sports and Youth Welfare felicitates its 15 players with Eklavya Award, 10 players with Vikram Award, three coaches with Vishwamitra Award and a senior player with lifetime achievement award. Under these awards, cash prizes of `50,000 to one lakh are given to players and coaches.
Even many players of the state, who are also contenders of Vikram Award, have cancelled their selection trials just in hope of getting nominated for these prestigious awards.
"I am desperately waiting for the announcement of state sports awards. I am confident my name will be there in the list of awardees. But unfortunately, this year the directorate has delayed it for around a month which is a rare occasion. Now I am out of state for some trials. Due to uncertainty of announcements of awards, I don't know whether I'll be able to attend the ceremony", said one of the players on condition of anonymity.
HT tried to contact principal secretary, sports, M Mohan Rao but he was unavailable for comments. HT also tried to contact newly appointed director of Sports and Youth Welfare Department Upendra Jain.