Odisha Sun Times Sports Bureau
Cuttack, Sept 3:
Disheartened after her sustained efforts to get a job inside the state went in vain, ace woman rower of Odisha Pratima Puhan, who brought laurels for the state and the country by winning the bronze medal in the women’s coxless pair event with Pramila Prava Minz in the 2010 Asian Games at Guangzhou in China, is all set to leave her home state.
Pratima, whose representation for Odisha would be over after the 2015 National Games, has joined as a constable in the CRPF’s Chandigarh unit.
Ironically, she was conferred with the Biju Patnaik Sports Award for the year 2010 by the Odisha government for her outstanding achievements at the national and international events only last Friday.
“The CRPF authorities have asked me to obtain a no-objection certificate (NOC) from the Odisha State Rowing Association as I have to represent Chandigarh in the 2016 National Games. But I don’t want to represent Punjab since I am keen on representing my home state,”, she told ‘Sambad’ in a chocked voice on Tuesday.
“Winning a medal for my state is a great feeling. I don’t want to contest against my home state players by wearing the outfit of the Chandigarh team. I got the opportunity to represent my state in the 2015 National Games only after I managed to hold up the order of the CRPF authorities. But this time, I have no choice as I have to leave Odisha for sure,” Pratima lamented.
Expressing disappointment over the lack of adequate infrastructure for her training in Chandigarh, she said the rowers of Chandigarh primarily depend on facilities available in Punjab since the CRPF unit has no training facilities of its own.
“I have achieved success in all national events and the Asian Games due to my intensive training at the Jagatpur-based SAI Rowing Centre in Cuttack, which provides all infrastructure facilities to the rowers. But in Chandigarh, things are quite different as I am unable to undergo regular practice due to lack of training facilities”, rued the 23-year-old rower of Podabara village of Cuttack district.
Desperate to represent her home state, she said she would readily leave her present job if she gets a job in her state in the meantime.
Pratima, who joined the CRPF in June last year, is now studying Plus Two.
Apart from winning a bronze medal in the 2010 Asian Games, Pratima had bagged a gold medal in the 14th Asian Junior Rowing Championship and a bronze medal in the Junior Asian Championship in 2009.
Besides, she had stood fourth in the Rowing World Cup in Switzerland in 2010.
She was conferred with the prestigious Ekalavya Award by the IMFA Group in 2011.