The Indian members for the World University Games (WUG), to be held in Gwangju (South Korea) from July 3 to 14, will have to bear their own expenses if they want to compete in the biennial event.
The expenditure ranges from Rs. 1.76 to Rs. 2.25 lakh, depending on the discipline.
The Association of Indian Universities (AIU), which has cleared teams in seven disciplines — shooting, judo, swimming, archery, athletics, badminton and tennis — has directed the universities to bear the expenditure of their students.
While most of the universities have expressed helplessness, some have asked the athletes to bear the expenditure, promising to reimburse them.
Surprisingly, the AIU had mentioned in its annual calendar for training and competition (ACTC) submitted to the Sports Authority of India that it won’t need government assistance for the event.
“We met the officials concer ned of our university (University of Mumbai) asking them to bear the expenditure, but they refused saying the university doesn’t have provision for sponsoring players for international meets,"
"We will meet them again tomorrow, and if they refuse, we will have to pay from out pockets.” said international rifle shooter Priyal Keni.
Three shooters from the University of Mumbai have made it to the 35-member squad in shooting.
“I raised the issue during the AIU AGM, but they didn’t seem to be bothered. We have forwarded the budget for participation of seven students to our university’s executive board. Since it’s a big amount it will take time for clearance,"
"The players will have to pay from their own pockets and will be reimbursed,” said Devinder Dhull, director sports, Maharishi Dayanand University, Rohtak.
The Panjab University (Chandigarh) players are also facing similar problems.
“Our university has assured it will reimburse. But how are we going to arrange Rs.2 lakh? Our university didn’t reimburse a shooter who competed in 2013,” said a shooter from the university who made it to the national squad.
In 2007 and 2011 WUG (in 2009, AIU didn’t send a team), the ministry funded the trip.
In 2013, the ministry didn’t pass AIU’s budget as it failed to meet the norms.
“The AIU should pay. Why do we pay the AIU annual sports fees? We will fund our players so that they don’t miss the opportunity. But, it’s the responsibility of the AIU,” said Arjuna awardee Dalel Singh, director sports, Kurukshetra University.