Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Sep 13:
Twenty eight women hockey players of Bhubaneswar Sports Hostel- all of them residents of Sundargarh district in Odisha-who went missing from the hostel this morning, landed at the Additional District Magistrate (ADM) office in Rourkela in the evening.
The girls decided to flee due to inhuman behaviour of the hostel-in-charge and the low quality food served to them, sources said.
“Since we belong to the minority community, we had requested the hostel-in-charge several times to allow us to go for prayers on Sunday morning, but to no avail,” alleged one of the players.
The players also alleged that the State Sports and Youth Services department had taken the decision to shift the hockey excellence hostel from Rourkela to Bhubaneswar without informing them. In the process, their education and training had been badly affected as they were studying in Rourkela and staying at Bhubaneswar.
“Since the department has shifted the hostel, they must make alternative arrangements for our education without which our future is doomed,” the player said.
The players, who reached Rourkela in the evening, met the ADM and informed him about their problems.
It is a mystery how as many as 28 players managed to cross the stadium gates and were able to disappear from the hostel in the presence of all the coaches and the security in the morning, when a single biker cannot enter the stadium where the security is very strong.
The plight of the girls speaks volumes about the government’s concern for the well being of budding players.
The government never tires of taking credit when sports persons bring laurels for the state. But when it comes to looking after the budding players, it obviously could not care less.