Champion wrestler and BJP leader Babita Phogat along with professional kabaddi player Kavita Devi have been appointed as deputy directors in the Sports and Youth Affairs Department in Haryana.

Talking about fulfilling her duties at the new job, Commonwealth Games medallist Phogat said, “I take it as a responsibility which has been entrusted to me by the government. Being a player, I will work to ensure that players get all the facilities they need, whether it is related to their practice or diet so that they can focus on their game and work,” PTI reported.

Devi, 30, won a gold medal as part of the Indian women’s kabaddi team at the Incheon Asian Games in 2014.

What You Should Know

  • Olympian wrestler Babita Phogat and kabaddi player Kumari Kavita Devi appointed as deputy directors (sports) in Haryana.
  • Babita was earlier appointed as a Haryana Police inspector under the sports quota.
  • Despite her many achievements, Kavita Devi has never had a government job until now.

Both the sportspersons from Haryana had applied to the state government for the posts. On July 29, Babita and Kavita were appointed as deputy director (Sports) under the Haryana Outstanding Sportspersons (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) rules, 2018. This move came after they went to the Punjab and Haryana High Court over not being given ‘A’ category posts as per the sports policy. Phogat had withdrawn her petition before joining BJP in 2019 as she was fighting last year’s state Assembly elections.

Now, according to the new orders, both the players from Haryana have to join the department within a month.

Phogat, who won India’s first wrestling medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, is the daughter of Mahavir Phogat, a noted wrestling coach. His journey inspired the 2016 Bollywood blockbuster Dangal starring Aamir Khan. Soon Geeta and Babita Phogat became role models for youngsters.

When asked how she is planning to improve the sports scenario in the country, Phogat saidNo matter how much we do, there is always a scope for improving things. As a sports person, I do not want that our players should face the problems that we had to face, be it related to diet, coaches or players’ practice.

Also Read: Years After String of Feats, Wrestler Family Fights For Their Due

Taking to her Twitter account, Phogat thanked CM and Sports Minister of Haryana Manohar Lal Khattar and Sandeep Singh after being appointed as Deputy Director.

Babita Phogat worked as Sub-Inspector in the Haryana Police before putting in her papers to join the BJP to contest the 2019 Assembly polls from the Dadri constituency. The 29-year-old is a three-time Commonwealth gold and silver medallist. She had clinched the silver medal in the 2010 Delhi CWG in the 51 kg weight class. She bagged a gold medal in the 2014 Glasgow Commonwealth Games in the 55 kg weight class. She had also launched a wrestling academy in Bengaluru, for girls who want to follow in her footsteps.

Also Read: Dangal depicts the story of a wrestler himself who mentored her both daughters Geeta Babita to win the championships

Kavita Devi, on the other hand, has won five international and 17 national medals for Haryana. Her father Ram Mehar Singh worked as a cart puller at her village. Kavita had received a prize of Rs two crore in 2014 but she did not get any help or job from the state government. Talking about being sidelined from getting a government job, she said, “I could have not spoken after I got the cash award. But it was about getting my due from the state government. While most of the medalists of the Asian Games/CWG Games were given category ‘A’ jobs, some were denied and that’s why I approached the high court in 2018. During the four years after I won the gold medal at Incheon, I had expected to be given a job as per sports policy but repeated pleas with the government were of no avail. It was very frustrating for me and today’s appointment order has made me forget all the mental agony,” The Indian Express reported.

Read More Stories By Ria Das

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