Members of the Yuva Sena locked the sports director of Mumbai university Dr Uttam Kendre in the toilet of his chamber on Friday, after members of the university’s archery team, currently in Patiala for the national championships, complained that the university had sent them for the tournament with practically no preparation or arrangements.
After he was let out, Kendre wrote a letter addressed to the Sena admitting that he had made a mistake and assuring that things would be better organised next time around.
Mandar Parande, who was part of the eight-member archery team, told HT from Patiala: “This is the worst feeling ever. Our train bookings were unconfirmed and only till Ambala, which is at least 10 stations before Patiala. In desperation, we had to sit next to the toilet and beg the ticket collector to allow us to continue on our journey. There was not one call from the university asking us how we were. My equipment which costs over Rs 2 lakh has been damaged.” Parande has taken part in the national championship nine times.
His colleague Mayuresh Deshmukh added that while other universities have selection processes lined up a month in advance and conduct coaching camps before the competition, their team was selected on November 5, and packed off on November 8.
Not only did the team miss the opening ceremony, the university did not send any manager or coach with them.
“We were booked on the wrong train and reached late. We directly took a rickshaw from Patiala station to the ground and started playing. Four of us lost the first round hampering our overall score. Each bow costs Rs3000. The alignment of all the bows have changed since we had to dump them one on top of the other in the train,” Deshmukh said.
The team gets an allowance of Rs 125 per day for travel and food.
Yuva Sena chief Aditya Thackeray told Hindustan Times: “The way the sports department is being handled is shameful and chaotic. It is time the UGC changes its requirements for the post of director of sports and allows sportspersons to be appointed. Sports should always be tackled on the basis of merit irrespective of the type of sport.”