It is incredible but true. A senior Haryana IAS officer’s daughter has become the national skating hockey champion without attending selection trials and even the championship match.
Sriya Vaishnavi Tallapragda, daughter of TVSN Prasad, principal secretary in food and supply department, was selected for the state senior girls inline-hockey (roller skating hockey) team for the national championship without attending the selection trials held in Yamunanagar on December 1.
Subsequently, she was absent from the event – 51st National Championship held at Shah Satnam Girls School, Sirsa, from December 11 to 15 – too, but Sriya was very much part of the state senior girls’ team. The Haryana girls went on to win the gold and Sriya became a part of the winning squad while sitting at home, whereas for others it took years of hard work to achieve the feat.
HT possesses a copy of the match sheet in which Sriya was marked absent.
Prasad had a different story to tell: “My daughter was present during the time of the national championship in Sirsa from December 11 to 15. And as her performance was not up to the mark, she was taken as an extra, but since she did not actually play in the final tournament, she was marked absent and she didn’t get a medal.”
HT, however, found that the IAS officer’s daughter was not present in Sirsa between December 11 and 15.
Also, in the senior girls inline hockey category, in which Prasad’s daughter was accommodated, there were only two teams — Haryana and Andhra Pradesh. And in the only match played in this category, Haryana girls defeated Andhra Pradesh 6-0 to win the gold.
“One or two girls were not selected as they were not up to the mark. While one girl was selected without even being present at the trials,” a member of the winning squad told HT. “Even the team jersey of Sriya that we got for the nationals was there, but she wasn’t.”
Being part of the gold winning squad entitled Sriya, a Class 12 student, to a Rs 200,000 cash award and a likely admission to a professional college under the sports quota.
Quizzed on the issue, one of the coaches with the Haryana contingent in the nationals Vishal Bakshi said, “I have no idea about the girl. There are a number of girls in different age categories so it’s difficult to remember their names.”
Haryana Roller Skating Association president Amit Kumar Agarwal, an IAS officer said he was not aware of this, and that he would “look into the matter”.
Read: Taking the sports quota route to pursue professional courses