Abhinav Bindra wrote to Sports Ministry suggesting the inception of a helpline for all Indian athletes, especially for the ones travelling to foreign countries on national duty. Recently, Kanchmala Pande, a para-swimmer, was forced to beg in order to arrange money for competing at the World Series.
Abhinav Bindra, India's only individual Olympic gold-medalist, has suggested the Sports Ministry of India introduce a helpline for all the Indian athletes so that they could contact the center for support as and when required, especially the athletes representing India in foreign countries, as was the case with Kanchmala Pande and a group of para-swimmers in Berlin.
Bindra wrote a letter addressed to Sports Minister Vijay Goel suggesting the changes which he released via a tweet.
On Tuesday, it was reported that a group of Indian para-swimmers were compelled to beg and borrow money in order to compete at the World Series in Berlin. Kanchmala Pande, a para-swimmer from Nagpur who competes in the S11 category, shared her horrific experience in the foreign country stating she had to borrow Rs 5 lakh to participate in the tournament. The non-availability of funds wasn't the only woe the athletes had to deal with, it was reported that their coach who had accompanied them to Germany abandoned the team and demanded participation fees of Rs. 7000 to assist the team.
Bindra had then tweeted expressing his dismay and anger at the issue while tagging Sports Minister Vijay Goel and Prime Minister Narendra Modi to bring the issue to their attention.
Vijay Goel then responded announcing the issue will be investigated while stating that the Sports Ministry had already released the funds sanctioned for the tournament.
"The funds for Kanchanmala Pandey were timely released and were given to the Paralympic Committee. So, one thing is clear that there was no fault from the side of the sports ministry. I have questioned the Paralympic Committee over the lapse," said Goel.