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No female instructors at Pong Dam water-sports …

By: Vijay Samyal

Fatehpur: There is no point reiterating that sports infrastructure in Himachal Pradesh is abysmally low, but it is shocking to know that those undergoing training at certain sports centers also have to undergo direct or indirect harassment. Problems being faced by female trainees at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Water Sports Training Centre at Pong Dam are a grim reminders of how indifferent sports administrators are towards practical problems.

Around 600 trainees, out of which approximately 30 % are females, from all over the country, enroll for training at the Centre every year, and they are managed by eight instructors, all males. The state government also earns vital revenue from the fee these trainees pay, but when it comes to listening to their grievances officials turn a deaf ear.

Female trainees on condition of anonymity said that they have to train in their swimming costumes and most of the time new trainees have to be literally carried into water by instructors to make them learn swimming. This, they said, make the trainees feel embarrassed and even insulted as there is no female trainer.

When Centre incharge RR Thakur was asked about it, he very conveniently replied that they have written to higher authorities regarding appointing female instructors several times. No one knows when will that happen, but the indifference is already showing as the number of female trainees coming here has been dwindling.

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