Non implementation of SRO-349 leaves outstanding sportspersons in lurch

Sporting icons sans jobs in J&K
*Bhanu, Rajinder, Vilayat, Palak, Shreya deserve better deal
Rajesh Dhar
JAMMU, Mar 28: Notwithstanding the tall claims made by the previous State Governments that the services of outstanding sportspersons have been utilized properly in the State, non-implementation of SRO-349 from last almost 5 years has left the outstanding sportspersons in the lurch and some iconic sportspersons are jobless in Jammu and Kashmir, the State which under Governor’s Administration is striving hard to carve a space on India’s sports map.
It is learnt that most of the outstanding sportspersons in the State are without Government jobs and the doors for their appointments under SRO-349 have almost been closed from 2014 onwards.
There was a custom, a system, a practice or you may call it precedence that the State Government was providing jobs to outstanding players under SRO-349 since 1992 against the direct recruitment quota.
By outstanding sportsperson, the Government meant the player representing the country at the International scene or a player earning a medal at senior national level championships.
Sources reveal that none of the sportspersons had been appointed under SRO-349 since 2014 over a dispute between the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council and the players on the issue of awarding points to the outstanding players.
On the condition of anonymity a deserving candidate for appointment under SRO-349 said that Sports Council after appointing 25 outstanding players under this SRO in 2013, did not bother to issue an advertisement regarding the appointment of players in 2014 and 2015, adding that the Council invited the applications from the players of all these years through an advertisement in 2016 before the controversial points system adopted by the Sports Council in 2017 served as a stumbling block for further appointments.
Sources said that the controversial points system introduced by the Council forced some outstanding players to go to the Court for justice, adding that the cases now pending in the Court are serving as a death-knell for these outstanding sportspersons as far as their future is concerned.
Secretary J&K State Sports Council, Naseem Javaid Choudhary as per the reports had already admitted that there have not been any appointments from the year 2014 because of the cases pending in the Court.
He said the Sports Policy draft had been submitted with the Government and everybody is waiting in the wings for the implementation of this policy in letter and spirit in the State.
It may be recalled that the draft of the Sports Policy has been framed by the Sports Council way back in 2015, but unfortunately the Policy is yet to be implemented in the State for some unknown reasons.
According to the reliable sources, there are over 100 outstanding players in the State including some iconic sportspersons like Surya Bhanu Partap Singh, Rajinder Singh, Abhishek Jamwal (all Wushu); Shewata Thakur, Danish (Judo); Palak Kour, Raviya (Gymnastics); Vilayat Hussian, Muneer, Asifa, Fayaz Shangoo (Kayaking & Canoeing) and some fencers like Shreya Gupta, Javed, Tariq, Ajay and Ranchan, who despite having extraordinary record at the National and International scene are yet to be appointed under SRO-349 and are jobless.
“What shell-shocks one is the fact that the non implementation of Sports Policy and jaundiced system prevailing in the State, has forced many outstanding players to migrate from the State and either play for other States or train the players of other States. The migration of International stuff from the State is affecting and will badly affect the standard of sports in Jammu and Kashmir,” said coach of one of the leading medal winning sports disciplines in the State.
He said that the non implementation of Sports Policy is not only hampering the standard of sports in the State, but also making the outstanding players/coaches disinteresting in taking their assignments.
“There is not much provision of presenting cash prizes to outstanding sportspersons In Jammu and Kashmir. The State like Haryana and likes give 50 lakh cash prize to medal winners at the International level and J&K 50,000 to the same. So, expecting miracles from the State athletes is to flog a dead horse. In such circumstances, Government jobs were the only hope for these sporting icons to run their families and the non implementation of SRO-349 from many years now has left them in the lurch,” said Sports Authority of India (SAI) Coach on the condition of anonymity.
He said that Surya Bhanu Partap Singh Chib after winning bronze at Asian Games earlier was assured to be appointed as DySP, however, the assurance by the State Administration is yet to be given a practical shape, adding that this ace sportsperson along with his coach had met Governor Satya Pal Malik on October 5, 2018 at Raj Bhawan in Srinagar in connection with Surya’s appointment.
The office bearers of some of the prominent Sports Associations have appealed the Governor, who along with his Advisors, is leaving no stone unturned in promoting sports in every nook and corner of the State to direct the concerned agencies for implementing SRO-349 at an earliest and appointing outstanding sportspersons in Government Departments.
The best way to utilize the services of State sporting icons is to accommodate them in Government services and make them feel secured to focus on producing International stuff from the State.
It is pertinent to mention here that J&K Pradesh Youth Congress had criticized the J&K State Sports Council for playing with the future of youth of the State.
J&K PYC President, Uday Bhanu Chib in a statement earlier had expressed that J&K State Sports Council in 2016 issued notification for recruitment for different posts like junior coach, ground in-charge, storekeeper, electrician and plumber. Thereafter, the interview process was conducted in January 2017.
PYC said that the list was pending for the last three years and the department had not taken any action which had put the future of the youth at stake, adding that thousands of aspirants of the State are still awaiting a selection list after their interview.
Chib alleged that the file of interview containing marks of the finalist candidates has been missing and the authorities are hardly showing any concern towards this sensitive matter.
He said that it seems to be a conspiracy with a view to give undue benefits. Otherwise, finding missing file in the elitist Sports Organisation of the State is not a big issue.