Vinesh Phogat Slams Haryana Govt For Reducing Winners’ Cash Reward
Asian Games champion Vinesh Phogat suffers prize money cut for podium finish at both CWG and Asian Games. Thus, slamming the Haryana government’s policy of reducing cash rewards athletes get for winning medals for the country.
A new policy of the Haryana government states, “In case a sportsperson wins more than one medal during a financial year, he/she will receive full award money for the highest medal and 50 per cent of the award money for the second and subsequent medals.”
India’s gold medallist in the Asiad and Commonwealth Games lashed out at the government for the policy, sharing Bajrang Punia’s tweet asking Anil Vij and CM Manohar Lal Khattar, “how many athletes are actually happy with this policy.”
Nine months after Haryana government amended its cash award policy, medallists have received reduced prize money due to multiple victories at international events in the same financial year. Last week, Haryana government had cancelled the cash awards function for 3000 state players. The money was supposed to be deposited in their bank accounts by June 25. However, on Tuesday, Punia took to Twitter to slam the government about the deduction in prize money. Wrestler Vinesh Phogat too joined in.
“As a player, we prepare the same for every event and it takes the same effort to win medal whether it be Olympics, World Championship or Asian Games or Commonwealth Games. How can the Haryana government term an event higher or lower and give the players reduced prize money for the second event in the same year,” Vinesh was quoted as saying by The Indian Express. “When we contacted the sports department officials today, we were told that the Rs 75 lakh deduction from the Rs 3 crore prize money of Asian Games is for the deduction for the prize money of Rs 1.5 crore given in CWG as we have now won Asian games medal. Is it a crime to win medals in two events? Also as per the sports policy, the cash prize for youth/cadet category have also been stopped. They have also not informed or given us any jobs for winning medals in CWG/Asian Games,” she added.
In 2019, the star wrestler bagged silver at the Dan Kolov-Nikola Petrov. The year 2018 was the young wrestler’s year. She clinched the gold medal in the 50 kg freestyle at the Asian Games in Jakarta and become the first Indian woman wrestler to do so. Avenging a heartbreaking loss at the Olympics two years ago, she also won gold at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, silver in the 2018 Asian Championships in Bishkek.
Before heading off to the Asian Games, she bagged gold at the Spanish Grand Prix in Madrid in July. Vinesh won the gold medal in the women’s freestyle 50 kg category and dominated the stage, conceding just one point in five bouts.
Picture credit: TOI