I will not tolerate injustice to athletes, says KC

Lalitpur, August 8

Minister for Youth and Sports Rajendra Kumar KC today said he would not tolerate injustice to the players due to their political affiliation.

Minister KC, who welcomed and felicitated the Asian Games and South Asian Games medallists at his quarter in Pulchowk, promised that he would not let players’ talent die due to discrimination, injustice and political interference.

“Although I am a congress leader, I am not here to welcome congress cadres but to honour the talented players,” said KC. “I have learnt that sports sector has been marred by politics. But I will not let this happen in my tenure,” added KC, who asked the concerned bodies to suggest him about the necessities of the players.

Minister KC also said that infrastructure was main challenge for organising the 13th South Asian Games in the country. “Neither we are capable of reconstructing the Dasharath Stadium nor we are able of demolishing the infrastructure due to the lack of proper equipment,” said KC. However, he reiterated that the 13th SAG would be organised in 2019. “It is also an opportunity for us to develop infrastructure.”

Minister for Information and Communications Mohan Bahadur Basnet, who was also present in the programme, said his ministry would support sport sector if required.

Meanwhile, South Asian Games record holder marathon runner Baikuntha Manandhar said the government needed to take the initiation to construct infrastructure for the 13th SAG. “Government needs to construct at least five covered halls and one heating swimming pool for the SAG,” said Manandhar.

Likewise, Nepal National and International Players Association President Deepak Shrestha urged Minister KC to guarantee social security of the athletes. “Players should be provided with the facilities of education, health and transportation based on the categories of the medals won in international events,” said Shrestha.

Similarly, four-time SAG gold medallists and former NNIPA President Deepak Bista requested minster KC to get Players’ Facilities Guidelines approved through cabinet. The Guidelines has the provision of free health, education and transport along with 80 per cent discount in entertainment sector for the SA Games gold medallists and Asian Games medallists.

As per the Guidelines, the SA Games’ other medallists and Olympians get 80 per cent discount in education, health and transport and 60 per cent in entertainment, while players who have taken part in official international tournaments get 50 per cent discount in education, health and entertainment and 30 per cent in entertainment.

Bista also demanded allowances for South Asian Games silver and bronze medal winners. Currently, the National Sports Council provides the SA Games gold medal winners and Asian Games medallists with Rs 5,000 each.

Messy ceremony

The ceremony was, however, a total mess. All the medal winners of the SAG and Asiad were invited to the minister’s quarter but there was no enough space to accommodate them. The tent was so small that the players were forced to sit under open sky. The minister arrived around an hour late.

When Minister KC finally reached the venue, the organisers did manage extra chairs but the players were forced to fetch them on their own. The athletes, unable to sit under the scorching mid-day sun, were seemed searching for an alternate place. By the time the felicitation began, the players were scattered in groups at different places.

Minister KC was, however, amused with the number of athletes present but did not apologise for delay and messy ceremony. “I am grateful to you all. It’s my pleasure to have you all here today on such a short notice,” said KC.