| Gloria Tudu with her coach. Telegraph picture |
Sports lovers condemned the not-so-concerned attitude of the state government when it came to honouring sprinter Gloria Tudu (13) on National Sports Day on August 29.
Tudu, the daughter of a daily-wage earner and a student of Class IX at St Michael’s School, Gokhla Mission, Pirpainty, was invited by the sports and youth affairs department for felicitation at Moinul Haq Stadium in Patna on National Sports Day.
“But she did not receive any honour because the necessary papers required for a felicitation went missing at the sport authority office in Patna,” said Rajiv Lochan, a trainer at Gokhla Mission. He had accompanied Tudu to Patna.
Tudu came to limelight for creating a record in the sub-junior National Inter-District Athletics meet in Ranchi on January 19, 2014.
The Athletic Federation of India had conducted the event in Ranchi from January 17-19. Tudu broke the 10-year record in the girls’ Under-14 category by finishing 100m in 13.17 seconds. The previous record stands at 13.30 seconds.
Tudu had also managed to bring silver for Bihar for the first time at the 58th Under-14 category in the 4x400m event of National Inter-School Athletics organised at Etawah in UP in 2013.
According to Lochan, on July 28 all documents of Tudu were sent to the state sport authority office through a special messenger, Munna Lal Marandi.
“Marandi, however, did not take any receipt after handing over the documents to the Patna office. When we reached Patna on August 28, we were shocked to find that Tudu’s documents were missing but documents of other sports stars and trainers were there,” he said.
Lochan added that the incident has demoralised Tudu. “We called on Arvind Thakur, the director of sports and youth affairs, and Rajiv Shanker, the director-cum-secretary of the state sport authority to tender our protest. They expressed helplessness. Thakur, however, assured us that they would try to felicitate Tudu soon,” Lochan said.
District sport officer, Bhagalpur, Shamin Ansari said: “It is unfortunate that a star player like Tudu did not get a state-level recognition. We would again recommend her name for the award and urge the authorities concerned in Patna to reconsider it.”
The daughter of a labourer, Abraham, has been fighting poverty since birth. Abraham works at a nearby stone crusher unit at Basaha in Jharkhand’s Sahebganj. “He somehow manages to arrange two-square meals for his family. Gloria is the eldest among his five daughters,” said Lochan.
Nilkamal, a member of the district volleyball association, said: “Along with the state honour, the money (not less than Rs 10,000 cash) was equally important for Tudu. Had she received that, she would have solved many problems.”