PM assures Baniya of Rs five lakhs

KATHMANDU: Prime Minister Madhav Kumar Nepal on Thursday said the government would provide Rs 500,000 for the treatment of former national volleyball player Dinesh Baniya, who has been suffering from failed kidneys.

“For now, we will give you Rs 500,000 for the treatment,” Nepal National and International Players Association (NNIPA) President Deepak Bista quoted the PM as saying. The NNIPA officials and Baniya met the PM after the cabinet meeting — which was scheduled to discuss the issue in its meeting on Wednesday — returned back the file to Youth and Sports Ministry.

Speaking at a press meet organised to inform about the charity football match between the Constituent Assembly Members and TV artistes, Bista accused the Youth and Sports Ministry of being indifferent towards the players’ plea. “We were forced to meet the PM after Baniya’s file was sent back,” he said.

Baniya, the member of the Nepali teams that took part in the South Asian Federation (SAF) Games in 1991 and 1993, was thankful for the government and the NNIPA. “I am pleased with the NNIPA and the government for taking so much care of me,” Baniya said.

The former Nepal Police spiker said he would leave for India for kidney transplantation after the charity football match. NNIPA general secretary Deepak Shrestha informed the association had so far collected around Rs 900,000 for the cause. The NNIPA, in association with Nepal Sports Journalists Forum, had organised a charity tournament, Nepatop Kheladi Cup, last month. They also screened documentaries produced by Om Krishna Shrestha to raise the funds.

Meanwhile, the organisers of the charity football match slated for Saturday at the Dasharath were hopeful of raising a good amount of funds for Baniya’s treatment.

“We hope the match between the CA Members and the comedian artistes of Tito Satya, Jire Khursani and Meri Basai will help us raise a good amount of money,” said Deepak Raj Giri, the producer and comedian artist of Tito Satya.

The CA Members-XI team features the likes of Puspa Kamal Dahal ‘Prachanda’, Ram Chandra Poudel, Jhalanath Khanal, Prakash Man Singh, Barsa Man Pun ‘Ananta’, Gagan Thapa, Chandra Bahadur Thapa, Rabindra Adhikari, Gayatri Shah, Bishnu Poudel and Raj Kaji Maharjan.

The other team — Tite, Jire and Meri Basai-XI —includes comedian artistes like Deepak Raj Giri, Kiran KC, Shiva Hari Poudel, Kamal Mainali, Deepa Shree Niroula, Jitu Nepal, Kedar Ghimire, Sita Ram Kattel, Kunjana Ghimire, Palpasa Dangol, Gopal Adhikari and Gopal Nepal ‘Fiste’. Both the teams will have 30 players each, the organisers informed.