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... Senior Olympian gold winner mopes

He won team gold for India in field hockey in the 1980 Moscow Olympics. Now, appointed as a state sports co-ordinator Sylvanus Dung Dung (67) doesn’t even have a car to commute to training hubs dotted across Jharkhand.

Ranchi-based Dung Dung, who was appointed co-ordinator by the sports department in May last year, can’t visit the training centres as the state hasn’t given him a car.

“My job as a co-ordinator involves streamlining the functioning of residential and day boarding centres scattered across long distances. It involves finding shortcomings of the centres, ensuring the availability of gears and grounds as well as keeping a tab on the diet provided to cadets at the state-run facilities. But, I am sitting idle as the government is yet to provide me with a car,” Dung Dung, who is in Jamshedpur for a hockey tourney, told The Telegraph.

Dung Dung, who represented the country in the 1980 Moscow Olympics and is a well-known personality in Jharkhand sports fraternity, said that the sports department promised him a car and a driver while appointing him as a co-ordinator.

“I cannot travel to all these training centres on my own. The government’s apathy is harming budding talents,” Dung Dung said.

The residential sports centres exist in almost all districts of the state. Seasoned coaches are supposed to train aspiring sportspersons at these facilities.

With the state of public transport being dismal, it is not fair to expect a 67-year-old to trudge to hinterland hubs on his own.

“I am not sure if things are moving in the right direction at these centres. There is no one to look after the functioning of these facilities. Special attention needs to be given to the diet of cadets and if they have sports gear or not. I was very optimistic about channelising things. I feel disgusted for failing to contribute to the betterment of sports in Jharkhand,” he added.

The hockey veteran said he had reminded sports department officials several times for the vehicles.

“Nothing moved forward. My requests fell on deaf ears. I don’t think sports will grow in Jharkhand in such circumstances.”

Dung Dung mentored budding hockey players at Government Girls’ High School in Bariatu in Ranchi from 2004-2013, before the sports department decided to make him a co-ordinator. “I was happy training the girls at the Bariatu school. I am a hockey player and know how to groom talent. But now I have nowhere to go,” Dung Dung signed off.

The other sports co-ordinator, also an Olympian, Manohar Topno, has also not got a vehicle yet.This is how the state treats its veteran stars.


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