STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Reiterating concern over rising drug abuse cases, Team Jammu has alleged that shortage of qualified coaches and sports infrastructure is leading to rise in the menace across the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir.
Addressing a press conference here on Sunday, Team Jammu Chairman, Zorawar Singh Jamwal said, “Youth has a key role to play in nation building and any region or state with healthy youth makes it developed but unfortunately, in the recent past, rise in number of drug abuse cases in Jammu and Kashmir is a matter of concern.”
Singh said that almost all the states are focusing on youth by engaging them through mediums like skill development, entrepreneurship, capacity building programmes and sports.
“But, it is very astonishing that Jammu and Kashmir is lacking behind in taking these initiatives for our youth especially in the field of sports, which is one of the major sources of developing an overall personality of youth,” said Jamwal adding that sports in this region, was never given the priority and the budding talent, especially those want to pursue sports as career, have no options to groom.
As per reports, presently there are nearly 53 sports associations, which are affiliated/recognized by the J&K Sports Council but against them, there are around 55 coaches in different disciplines, serving across the Union Territory.
“If we have 53 recognised bodies, then it is understood that each game/sport should have atleast one coach, which means, 53 coaches are needed in every district thus making a total of approximately 1100 coaches but surprisingly, a strength of 53 qualified coaches are engaged in the entire Jammu and Kashmir,” said Jamwal adding that so many NIS qualified coaches are unemployed and running pillar to post for job in the department.
“During previous successive regimes, jobs were created and interviews were called but later cancelled. Although interviews were again re-called but qualified aspirants are still waiting for the call from the concerned department,” he said adding that the popular governments engaged some of their closed relatives through alleged backdoor appointments and some were also appointed as Technical Advisors, through “Direct Quota” the post, which never exists in the J&K Sports Council and still withdrawing salary thus causing loss to the state exchequer every month.
“Moreover, last month a duty roaster was also issued by the J&K Sports Council for the coaches of Jammu Division asking them to stay for a period of one-month at different newly constructed indoor stadiums by arranging accommodation on their own in this COVID pandemic,” said the Team Jammu Chairman.
He added that as per reports, most of these indoor complexes are either incomplete or have no basic facilities and the roster is issued only to “fool” the administration showing them functional in papers, adding, “who is misleading the LG Sinha headed Administration by conspiring such moves, must be probed and why the roster was not issued for the Kashmir based coaches have raised many eyebrows over discriminatory attitude of such organizations, who are still dancing to the tunes of some Kashmir centric leaders despite the Abrogation of Article 370 and creation of erstwhile State as the Union Territory.”
“Duty Roster only for Jammu based coaches/instructors in this pandemic period and skipping Kashmir, smells some foul-play on behalf of those at helm of affairs and it is an attempt to victimize the coaches, who have regularly started their routine training classes, which will be affected on their engagement as per the roster,” Jamwal said.
“There are also reports of alleged corruptions in 2016-17 ‘Khelo India’ reportedly being probed by Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) Kashmir, various embezzlement in distributing funds to sports associations, malpractices, bungling in official record, tampering in seniority ladder and record of coaches, purchase of sub-standard sports equipment and various other complaints being raised time to time but action is still waited,” he said.
He also said that as the government has allowed all activities to resume after Unlock exercise and many buildings converted into COVID Centres were vacated but New Indoor Complex at Maulana Azad Stadium is still not made functional for all the games except few, adding, “as COVID threat is still looming large and children of indoor games are attending regular training session in open at M A Stadium in harsh weather conditions thus posing health risks. In such a situation, district administration must take note of it and open the indoor halls for the welfare of budding trainees.”
“First make the existing indoor halls operational by strengthening infrastructure and equipment instead of engaging coaches for one-month to unfurnished indoor complexes only to loot appreciation from the administration,” he suggested.
The Chairman also demanded time bound promotion policy in a fair and transparent manner besides the pension policy for the employees of J&K State Sports Council.
Jamwal however, also rued that more than 45 days have passed, the post of Divisional Sports Officer, Jammu is still lying vacant and should be filled up at the earliest with the deserving and qualified official.
“The post of Chief Sports Officer (CSO) was already vacant since June 2019 due to some legal hiccups but from October 31, 2020, the DSO Chair, also fell vacant and yet to be filled, which is one of the important posts to liaison between the coaches and the administrative wing but the question arises that in such a situation, who is the official signing authority for official orders and other decisions being taken,” Jamwal pointed out.
“Sports need cleansing to develop a healthy state and it is not impossible under the leadership of worthy LG Manoj Sinha, who has already made clear soon after taking over the charge of J&K that there will be no space for corrupt and corruption in his rule,” he said.
The Team Jammu Chairman have appealed to the Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha, who is also the President of the J&K Sports Council to intervene and hold time bound inquiry into the functioning of the twin departments (J&K Sports Council/Department of Youth Services and Sports) and find out ground realities like corruption allegations vis-à-vis politically motivated backdoor appointments at the cost of deserving candidates and make the report public.