Call it an official apathy or blame it to the fate of the trainers at the day-boarding centres, the cheques issued by the Jharkhand sports department to them for stipend have expired before they could be encashed.
As promised by Jharkhand sports minister Amar Kumar Bauri three months ago, the department handed over the cheques to 30 trainers of the day-boarding centres across the state on June 19, only a day before their expiry. The next day being a Saturday, the banks remained engaged in routine clearance works and the cheques could not be credited to the coaches' accounts.
Besides a few lucky ones, whose cheques got credited, most coaches returned empty-handed and disappointed.
"We had been eagerly waiting for our stipend (Rs 5,500 each), which we could not receive for six months. But the sports department's apathy has shattered our hopes," said a coach, on the condition of anonymity.
"Do they (the sports department) really bother how we are managing our daily needs? We are disappointed and frustrated over the officials' attitude. If their approach doesn't change, we will be forced to think about other options for our earnings," another coach said.
Director sports Anil Kumar has confirmed the mismanagement, but said "it was not a big problem".
"The department is going to re-validate all the cheques," he said.
When HT contacted the sports minister over the issue, he reacted sharply to it and assured that a strict action would be taken against the officials responsible for the goof-up.
The state had a total of over 100 day-boarding coaching centres. But most of them have been shut down by the sports department. Bauri had given a three-month extension to the remaining 30 centres with a warning to improve their standards.