Kabaddi player Vindhyavasini Kumari in Bokaro on Thursday. Picture by Pankaj Singh
Another promise — that’s what international kabaddi champion Vindhyavasini Kumari got from the chief minister after an ordeal spanning over 12 hours.
The 24-year-old Bokaro girl, who arrived at Hemant Soren’s Ranchi residence around 9am on Wednesday to know whether she will get the cash award and state job promised to her after she won Team India gold in the first women’s kabaddi world cup in 2012, decided to take leave a little after 10.30pm as Hemant Soren did not turn up and her mother was unwell. Only to be called back by the chief minister while she was at Booty More and told that he would need seven days to hand over the cash award.
But no word was given on the government job, which was promised to Vindhyavasini by former chief minister and Hemant’s predecessor Arjun Munda.
“CM sir ne ek hafte ka mohlat maanga hain. Un hone wada kiya ki ek hafte mein jo cash award mujhe sarkar ke taraf se dene ka wada kiya wo mil jayega. (CM sir has sought a week’s time. He has promised that the cash award that was supposed to be given to me by the government will be handed over within seven days),” Vindhyavasini, who reached Bokaro on Thursday morning, said.
Vindhyavasini, has threatened to return her medal if the state cannot not keep its promises, was initially firm on staying put at the chief minister’s Kanke home till she got a clear answer from him. But her mother, who had accompanied her, started feeling sick.
“My mother’s left leg is broken. She was not feeling well as she had to sit with her legs hanging for a long time. Her condition worried me and we left for Bokaro after 10.30pm. But soon after we crossed Booty More, we got a call that the chief minister was back home and wanted to meet us. So, we returned,” the gutsy girl said.
As for the cash prize, the kabaddi champ said she had no idea about the amount or the place where it would be handed to her.
“I think it will be Rs 10 lakh, which the government had promised earlier. But the chief minister could not commit on the job immediately, saying that they were in the process of working out a new sports policy as the old one had several lacunae,” she added.
When she pointed it out that there were several examples of players, including Jamshedpur pugilist Aruna Mishra, landing a state job after the matter was put forward in the state cabinet, Hemant promised to personally look into the matter.
“The chief minister said that my case will be also taken up in the cabinet in accordance with government rules for international players,” she added.
The last time Hemant met Vindhyavasini on January 21, he had promised to address her woes within 10 days. Before him, former chief minister Arjun Munda had announced a cash award of Rs 10 lakh plus a state job for the young girl soon after her world cup feat. Former deputy chief minister Sudesh Mahto had promised her Rs 10,000, while erstwhile Bokaro deputy commissioner Sunil Kumar had offered a monthly scholarship of Rs 10,000.
None of the promises was kept.