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28 women hockey players returning to sports hostel in Odisha capital tonight

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Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 14:

Twenty eight senior women hockey trainees, who fled from the Odisha government-run sports hostel at Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar yesterday morning and reached Rourkela in evening, would return to Bhubaneswar by midnight today, sources in the Panposh Sports Hostel (PSH), Rourkela said.

File Pic
File Pic

The trainees left the Steel City this evening by an AC coach bus along with two instructors of PSH Amulya Behera and Flourentia Ekka and police staff and are expected to reach here tonight.

Ajay Jena, Rourkela DIPRO and an active member of PSH, said a meeting of PSH, headed by former Minister of Commerce and Transport and Raghunathpalli MLA Subrat Tarai, was held this afternoon in Rourkela  in the presence of ADM Rourkela K Sudershan Chakravorty, Sub-Collector Rourkela Himanshu Sekhar Behera, Tehsildar Rourkela Pradip Sahu and representatives and instructors of PSH. The trainees’ grievances such as difficulty in pursuing education, food timing and duration of their practice sessions were discussed at the meeting, sources told OST.

The trainees agreed to return to Bhubaneswar after getting assurance from Tarai that their problems would be sorted out soon.

Jena said the trainees, after reaching Rourkela, met ADM Chakravorty and MLA Tarai, who listened to their grievances and promised to look into the matter and convinced them to go to the PSH.

On Sunday morning, the trainees took an auto rickshaw to the Rourkela Railway station to reach Bhubaneswar by Inter-city Express. But instead of going to the railway station, they alighted at Hanuman Vatika. Later, they were brought to PSH.

A high-level meeting was convened today by Tarai which convinced the players to return to Bhubaneswar. The officials also assured the players to find a solution to their problems, Jena said. “A special bus was arranged for the players for their movement to Bhubaneswar. The bus will halt at Dhenkanal Sports Hostel for dinner under the direct supervision of the instructors”.

While confirming that the girls are returning to Bhubanswar, Akhila Bihari Das, Assistant Director of Sports, Bhubaneswar refuted allegations of delayinf providing food to the trainees. “Since their joining in May 2014, the trainees are being supplied diet according to their schedule,” Das said.

On the girls fleeing from the city sports hostel on Saturday morning despite the tight security, Das said the girls fled during the training session without informing anybody and taking advantage of the absence of P K Sarangi, SAI Hockey Coach and in-charge of Bhubaneswar girls hockey team, who was on leave yesterday.

Das revealed that the women were unhappy and were facing difficulty in pursuing education. “Though they hail from Sundargarh district and come from tribal families, they were not feeling comfortable here. The change in standard of Hockey game and environment here from Rourkela might be one reason for them to feel unhappy,” he added.

If the trainees file any written complaint to the sports department about their problem, action will be taken soon to solve these, assured Das.