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Railways blind to plight of feted boxer

other Updated: Dec 24, 2011 00:44 IST
Sanjeev Garg
Sanjeev Garg
Hindustan Times
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Balbir Singh is known in the boxing circuit for his hard punches, but the Railways boxer, who despite winning national and international medals for his employers, has gone unpaid for five years.

Balbir won gold at the 2002 World Cadet Boxing Championship (48kg) in Hungary, which made him the first Indian to win the top spot in an international event. He went on to earn other laurels, and impressed by his performance, the South Central Railways offered him employment in 2006 as a ticket inspector under the sports quota.

He was paid for the first three months, but for reasons unknown, the South Central Railways stopped his salary.

In September 2007, the railway ministry released a letter which had Balbir's name, among others, which mentioned them as permanent employees. Even the Railways Sports Promotion Board has given him the no-objection certificate (NOC) for national and international events.

"They (Railways) told me to appear for an exam, which I failed as I'm not well educated. I was then promised a job under the Class IV category but even that hasn't happened even though I represent them in competition," said Balbir, who is a part of the World Series Boxing.

When contacted by HT, Naeem, the former sports officer of South Central Railways, said, "I will ensure Balbir gets justice."