For Northern Railway, a bronze medal is dearer than gold. The department has ignored the credentials of two reigning women national champion boxers and recruited players with lesser achievements.
Neetu Chahal (60kg) and Suman (54kg), who won gold in the senior nationals at Bhopal last year, were overlooked for Class-3 jobs. In fact, the Bhiwani boxers were not even called for trials.
The duo had applied on December 16 last year in response to vacancies announced by the Railways. They were told the trials would be held soon. But when the trials were held, in New Delhi on December 27, they were not informed and instead Priyanka Choudhary (54) and Sagar Tokas (60) were selected.
Sagar, who hails from Uttarakhand, has not won a medal in the senior nationals in the last two editions. Her best finish, in 2011, was a bronze medal in the National Games in Jharkhand. Priyanka too returned without a medal in this edition of the national championship, though she too finished third at the National Games.
Both Neetu and Suman fared better than Sagar and Priyanka at the National Games too, winning gold and silver, respectively.
When the duo came to know about the development, they contacted the concerned official, Sanjeev Dutta, who informed them that the trials had not yet taken place.
“Last week, we met the Northern Railway general manager and apprised him of the developments. He informed us that since both vacancies had been filled, we could apply next time around,” said Neetu, who is also on the list of Olympic medal hopefuls prepared by the sports ministry.
Neetu and Suman have written to the railway minister to redress their grievance. “Our achievements speak for themselves,” said Neetu.
Dutta, who is posted in the Northern Railways HQ, said, “The recruitment process is still going on." But when told that the GM had already informed the boxers that the vacancies had been filled, he said, “Then, go and ask the GM.”