Archers at the government-run hostel at Sonbhadra in Uttar Pradesh’s Mirzapur district have protested against the inhumane treatment being meted out to them, claiming that they have been forced to clean toilets and consume food which is not at par with the diet that was promised to them.
Adding to the archers’ woes, many of them who have competed at national and international level is the fact that they have alleged that they have been forced to cut the grass and drink non-potable water, according to a report in the Hindustan Times.
The report claims that the 21 archers have blamed sports officer, Anil Tewari, in a complaint to Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath.
Prior to writing a letter to the authorities, the archers had gone on a hunger strike demanding that cognisance of their struggles be taken as a group of police personnel had descended upon the campus.
Tewari told the paper that he has submitted his reply to ‘higher authorities’ as the archers claimed that they were ‘threatened and even abused’ when they approached him.
An archer not wishing to be named, told the paper, “The officials are forcing us to withdraw the complaint. On Monday, a good number of cops raided our hostel and warned us to withdraw the complaint.”
While the sanctioned budget for food per archer per day is Rs 250, the sportsperson at the Sonbhadra training centre claimed that only Rs 145 was being spent on them every day.
When contacted by the paper, UP sports minister Chetan Chauhan said he wasn’t aware of the issue but action would be taken against the guilty after studying the matter. “If the complaints are genuine, I am not going to spare the people concerned,” he was quoted as saying.