Seeking a dignified life, India’s wheelchair cricketers look in the direction of BCCI President Ganguly


New Delhi, August 5

Not all cricketers, who put on the India jersey, are privileged. Especially, if they’re disabled gamers, ready for the BCCI to take them beneath its wings.

India’s wicket-keeper batsman Nirmal Singh Dhillon, who hails from Moga in Punjab, is making ends meet by promoting milk whereas quick bowler Santosh Ranjagane repairs two-wheelers at a workshop in Kolhapur, Maharashtra.

Then there may be batsman Poshan Dhruv, who works at a welding store in a village in Raipur. With COVID-19-forced lockdown shutting all companies in March, he was pressured to work as farm labour for a meagre every day incomes of Rs 150.

They are all proud India cricketers, having performed a key position within the nationwide workforce’s current success however are struggling as a result of they’re but to come back beneath the BCCI.

As per the reforms mandated by the Supreme Court-appointed Lodha Committee, the BCCI was speculated to create a committee for the event of bodily challenged cricketers in India however the cricket board is but to fulfil its constitutional obligation.

BCCI President Sourav Ganguly had additionally mentioned the problem with the CEO of Wheelchair Cricket India Association a while again, in line with Somjeet Singh, the captain of the Indian wheelchair workforce.

“There has been no communication with regards to policy formation for disabled cricketers. Sourav Ganguly had promised help. He did not have much idea about wheelchair cricket in India and he was surprised that we play at such a good level,” Somjeet advised PTI.

The 24-year-old Somjeet, himself a paraplegic (struggling full paralysis of the decrease half of the physique as a result of injury to the spinal wire), performed a key position in forming, first the UP wheelchair cricket affiliation after which the nationwide affiliation with Squadron Leader Abhai Pratap Singh, who was an ex-Air Force fighter pilot and on wheelchair himself.

The cricketers really feel that the best way BCCI lifted the profile of ladies’s recreation in India, the mum or dad physique may also help them too.

In the absence of a BCCI-recognised physique, many associations have mushroomed on the state degree, forcing wheelchair cricketers to shell out cash from their very own pockets to pursue the game.

“When we went to Nepal, we were asked to pay Rs 15,000 for the trip. It really broke my heart. Then I got attached with the association with which captain Somjeet is involved. They are taking care of us since then,” mentioned Santosh, who resides of from some assist offered by the Maharashtra authorities.

He will get a pension of Rs 1000 from the state authorities and his father and brother assist him by giving him grocery.

“Our game can reach out to more people if the BCCI helps us. The players can play better tournaments,” mentioned Santosh, who did a course in two-wheeler repairing to help his household however will not be getting any work as a result of pandemic, added.

If the BCCI helps them then the blind, deaf and wheelchair cricketers will all get benefited.

Somjeet mentioned there have been two associations, registered with ‘India’ identify and if the BCCI makes a transparent coverage, the anomaly will finish as to which one was genuine.

“There is recognition for para-athletes but nothing for us. We also take pride in representing the country. These cricketers don’t want people to pity them. All they want is an equal opportunity,” mentioned Somjeet, who has been India captain since 2018.

Nirmal Singh, who has performed in opposition to Bangladesh and Nepal, too, mentioned the identical.

“I got to know about wheelchair cricket through Facebook. I cleared the trials, first for Punjab and then the Indian team last year. The game has given some hope to live a dignified life. We just want to make India proud and just need the basic support which only BCCI can give,” mentioned 29-year-old Nirmal, who has two buffaloes and manages to earn Rs 4,000 by promoting milk.

He additionally engages in sharpening furnishings at occasions.

“What do I do, I have to support my mother. My younger brother is also not earning now. He went to Bahrain as a labourer and Covid-19 as made life tough for him and us.”

However, it appears the wait will likely be lengthy for wheelchair cricketers to get some help from the BCCI.

“At this point, there are no sub committees in BCCI. The cricket for disabled will be a sub-committee of BCCI but it will take some time. The BCCI has already appealed to the Supreme Court for a constitutional amendment. Let us get some clarity first,” mentioned a BCCI official who didn’t want to be named.

“The BCCI earlier this year had rewarded the physically challenged Indian team that won in England last year. Each playing member got Rs 3 lakh,” he mentioned, making some extent that they’ve tried to assist disabled cricketers. PTI



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