Jammu, Oct 11 : The tall claims of Jammu and Kashmir Administration to bring boom and welfare in the field of sports ‘fall flat’ as various sports associations allegedly embezzle funds sanctioned to them for the players and sportspersons.
Moreover, the ‘Sports Task Force’ announced by the Advisor to Governor K Vijay Kumar in December last year during an event in Jammu, does not come into existence and remained in papers.
Many players and parents, have alleged that every year, sports associations claim thousands from them at the time when the teams in different disciplines have to leave for participation at national level tournaments but the funds are never refunded to them.
“The associations (barring few) at the time of national level competitions in different categories, collect funds from the players assuring them of refunding but astonishingly it never happens,” a parent, whose child is going to attend a national event in the coming days, pleading anonymity expressed.
He said, “if the government is not paying TA/DA to the players for participating in the competitions, especially to those who are selected during trials and represents different sports bodies, then what is the fun of promoting sports,” further adding, “and if funds are provided to the associations, then where does the money go?”
Another parent alleged that associations not getting funds from the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council—the highest sports authority looking after sports and games in the state (now Union Territory), cannot be digested. “Every year the drama continues. We pay the money to make our children travel to venues across the country for participation in the national events and assured that once, the funds be sanctioned by the Council, they will be refunded back, but it is a sad affair that the money never comes back,” a banker, whose daughter practices one of the prime sports at Maulana Azad Stadium levelled allegations.
She however, appealed to the Governor Satya Pal Malik to review the working of the State Sports Council and order a probe into an ‘embezzlement’ made by some associations in the name of promoting sports.
She further said that Jammu and Kashmir must learn a lesson from neighbouring states like Punjab and Haryana, where sports is a priority for the government and the players get due benefits after excelling in different competitions.
“They have a sports policy, which we have failed to frame since decades,” added the parent.
Besides, some of the sportspersons in a startling revelation said that previously they used to get refreshments at the time of 21 days camp organised by respective associations before participating in nationals but for the past two to three years, this exercise has also stopped.
“To keep check and balance on ‘misappropriation’ of money sanctioned for refreshment, the government introduced a policy that an amount per player meant for meals will be directly transferred to their accounts to prevent corruption but unfortunately, since then, neither the refreshment nor the money was transferred,” a senior player claimed.
Sources in the administration wing of the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council said that the funds are sanctioned in favour of all affiliated sports associations and audit is also sought from them regarding distribution of allotted funds.
“If there are such serious allegations leveled against the sports bodies by parents and players over non-distribution of funds, which according to them do not reach them, will definitely be probed,” an official asserted.
Moreover, the players have also sought the intervention of Advisor to the Governor K Vijay Kumar, who holds portfolio of Youth Services and Sports to introduce the ‘Sports Task Force’, which he had announced last year. Pertinently, Mr Kumar on December 12, 2018 had said that 'Sports Task Force' will soon be introduced in Jammu and Kashmir.
The Advisor had added that the Governor is very much keen to promote sports culture in the state and to keep a check on utilization and distribution of funds, ‘Sports Task Force’ will soon be introduced but still it exists nowhere.
They also hoped that with Jammu and Kashmir coming to an existence as Union Territory on October 31, may bring bright future for sports, which is on the ‘crutches’ in Jammu and Kashmir.
Governor Satya Pal Malik headed administration on December 15, last year, approved Rs 350 crore budget for raising infrastructure in separate sports/games disciplines.
“An initial provision of Rs 5 crore has been provided in the budget to promote youth exchange programmes,” said the Governor. (UNI)