Bajrang, Vinesh Slam Haryana Govt for Reduced Cash Reward
Both Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat have criticised the state government for the move.
Both Bajrang Punia and Vinesh Phogat have criticised the state government for the move.(Photo Courtesy: Twitter/Media_SAI/AP)

Bajrang, Vinesh Slam Haryana Govt for Reduced Cash Reward

After amending its cash award policy less than a year back, the Haryana government is now guilty of giving reduced prize money to Asian Games & Commonwealth Games medal winners from the state, due to multiple victories at different international events in the same financial year. The reduction in the prize money is part of the new sports policy.

According to the new sports policy, “In case a sportsperson wins more than one medal during a financial year, he/she will receive full award money for the highest medal and at 50 percent of the award money for the second and subsequent medals.”

This comes a week after the state cancelled an award function for 3000 state players and informed the athletes that the cash awards would be deposited in their bank accounts by 25 June.

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The athletes, who have been at the receiving end, include world number one wrestler and Asian Games champion Bajrang Punia and another Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat, who have criticised the state government for the move.

On Tuesday, Punia took to Twitter to hit out at the state government for the reduction in prize money.

“When a player wins medals for the country, the country wins too. It is not achieved by one day's hard work but is won by a lifetime of dedication. Do not hurt their morale and self-esteem by reducing the amount the athletes have to receive. It’s my request to the government that they re-think their decision,” the tweet read.

Even Vinesh tweeted about the development. She posed some tough questions to the government in her tweet.

“Every time you come up with something to annoy the athletes. No government in Haryana has ever insulted the athletes like this. I want to know that till date how many athletes have been rewarded or provided a job by the state government,’ said Vinesh in her tweet.

In her next tweet, Vinesh asked the Haryana government to take the prize money, and stop politicising the cause of an athlete and humiliate him/her.

In all her tweets she tagged the Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Sports Minister Anil Vij. But in her last tweet she also tagged the prime minister, where she accused the Haryana Government of contradicting PM Narendra Modi’s vision as far as sports in the country is concerned.

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Like Punia and Phogat, there are other athletes in the state who are affected by the new policy.

But adamant Sports Minister Anil Vij said the rewards are given as per the new sports policy that has been in force.

“The prizes have been given in accordance with the sports policy. We have clearly mentioned in the citation that if any player finds any discrepancy in the prize-money, he/she can approach us,” Vij told the media.

During the Commonwealth Games in Australia last year, athletes from Haryana won one-third of India’s medals with a total of 22 medals out of 66 medals won.

In the Asian Games too, athletes from Haryana clinched 17 medals out of India’s tally of 61 medals.

The likes of Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Phogat and Neeraj Chopra won gold medals in both the events.

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