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DTTA silent as age issue resurfaces

Bizarre things are happening in the Delhi Table Tennis Association as a ranked player in the kids’ category continues to play despite a question mark over his real age, reports Ajai Masand.

other Updated: Jul 05, 2008 01:04 IST
Ajai Masand

Bizarre things are happening in the Delhi Table Tennis Association (DTTA) on the age front and the officials are turning a blind eye to the malady. A ranked player in the kids’ category continues to play despite a question mark over his real age.

While the certificate issued by the boy’s school — Nav Manav — shows his date of birth as March 10, 1999, it is 10/3/2000 in DTTA records. Stranger is the fact that even the child’s name in the school birth certificate does not tally with the DTTA records.

While the birth certificate, duly signed by the school principal, was issued to Kunal Khosla (name changed) in April 2005, DTTA records show his name as Prateek Khosla (name changed). DTTA organising secretary, Hukam Singh, when contacted, said the issue had come to his notice and he had sought a clarification from the school. “The school admitted making a mistake,” he said.

Asked why the child’s name had been changed, Singh said it was on the recommendation of an astrologer. “The boy was keeping unwell, so an astrologer asked his parents to change the name a few months back. He has been playing for a few years and things have been sorted out,” he said.

The official also said that the DTTA was getting strict on the age front and had even suspended a player for a year. “We have suspended a player for furnishing a wrong birth certificate,” he said.

All that DTTA vice-president, Uday Shankar, had to say was the association’s records showed Prateek's date of birth as 10/3/2000.

Prateek’s mother said the school authorities should be taken to task for the error. “We are not at fault if the school issues a wrong age certificate. He was born in 2000 and that's the record we have given to the DTTA,” she said, admitting that the boy's name had been changed.

The lady, also a patron of the DTTA, continued, “Being a patron I wouldn’t do an age fraud.” Hindustan Times had carried a story on June 4, 2008 of a girl student of Mata Jai Kaur School who had fudged her age.

Hukam Singh had then also blamed the school principal for the mistake. Incidentally, the girl had reached the final of a top local tournament.