Millennium Post

Dismal condition of sports sector

In an unfortunate event, national level wrestler, 25-year-old Vishal Kumar Verma died of electrocution on Wednesday at a stadium in Ranchi, Jharkhand when he was pumping out water that had collected in the Jaipal Singh stadium in the state. The stadium, built in 1978, was carrying out renovation work, which exacerbated water-logging during monsoons. Verma had been given the responsibility of opening the state wrestling body office in the mornings, though he didn't comment on whether Verma worked at the stadium part-time. He was reportedly the only earning member in a family of six.

The state wrestling association has announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh for Verma's family. The family is expected to get Rs 10,000 every month. Vishal Kumar Verma's accolades include a gold at the last Jharkhand state competition for both freestyle and Greco-Roman categories. He had also finished fourth in the 74kg freestyle event at the last national meet at Gonda, Uttar Pradesh. Jharkhand State Wrestling Association officials said that the building had been declared "dangerous" and the electricity connection was "illegal". The field around the office had been dug up to build a multi-purpose cultural centre and thus the premises had been flooded.

The sad demise of Vishal Kumar Verma and the context of his death brings to highlight the condition of sports sector, and particularly the players who bring the nation accolades. The lack of infrastructure for their training and practice is beyond dismal. Government provisions for enabling better training of athletes are of the kind that they can hardly depend on it. On the contrary, a private undertaking like Gopichand's badminton academy has produced players of repute and recognition. It is important to nurture and promote sports sector as it is an area for numerous talents to bloom and take India across the world in many different areas of sports.

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