The Telegraph
Saturday , March 1 , 2014
CIMA Gallary

Too many winners and too few jobs
- Ibobi throws up hands

Imphal, Feb. 28: Manipur chief minister Okram Ibobi Singh is facing a problem of plenty.

His government is unable to cope with the job requirements of the increasing number of boys and girls winning gold medals at the national and international-level competitions.

“We have more than 120 gold medal winners at the national and international-level sports meets. They want government jobs while we do not have the means to accommodate them. The government is indeed facing a problem here,” Ibobi Singh, who is also the sports minister, told the Assembly during question hour today.

The chief minister stated this during his reply to a question from Trinamul Congress member I. Ibohalbi Singh, who wanted a promotion for woman footballer O. Bembem, who is now a havildar in Manipur Rifles.

To encourage the state’s boys and girls to win more gold medals, the Ibobi Singh government has a policy to give government jobs to the medallists.

Five-time world boxing champion and Olympic bronze medallist M.C. Mary Kom is now superintendent of police in-charge of sports in the police department.

In January this year, the state government announced its decision to appoint bodybuilder Khundrakpam Pradipkumar, who is living with HIV, as a physical education instructor in the youth affairs and sports depart-ment.

Pradipkumar had won a gold in the 65kg category in the South Asia Body-building Championship held at Ludhiana in 2012. The bodybuilder is also the brand ambassador of the Manipur State AIDS Control Society.

“In other states, a gold medallist is given the post of inspector in the police department immediately after winning a medal in national and international-level meets but they do not produce many such medallists. But here in Manipur the number is plenty,” Ibobi Singh said.

He said the government would love to give jobs to all the medallists so that others can be inspired too, but its resources are limited to be able to provide for all the medallists.

The chief minister clarified that there was no government policy for giving promotion to sports-persons already recruited by the government. In an exceptional case, Mary Kom had been promoted to the rank of SP from deputy superintendent of police after she won the Olympic medal, he added.

Ibobi Singh assured Ibohalbi that he would examine if footballer O. Bembem could be given a promotion.