Early Times Report
Jammu, Feb 7: Years of apathy and neglect of the Jammu University authorities towards its department of Sports has started resulting in deep embarrassment and shame for it, as two top gymnasts of the country, who abandoned University of Jammu due to harassment, insult and humiliation meted out to them have won 11 medals between them, including six gold and five silver in the recently concluded All India Inter University championships representing a neighbouring university.
Blame it on the complete lack of professionalism, vision and administrative will, Jammu university could not find a Director sports in 28 years since its first and only director retired and entrusted the headship of the sports department to Deans, Registrars, HoDs and sundry who were bereft of even remotest idea about sports. The department continued to be headed by pompous professors who pretended to know all while they were complete green horns; and in the process, the entire university sports scenario was strangulated. These novices on the high chairs ruined many a budding careers in the process and the unconcerned university authorities watched like lame ducks.
While national celebrated the heroics of Deepa Karmakar in the last Olympic Games, the two gymnasts, Palak and Mitali, both national champions in Rhythmic gymnastics faced disgrace and dishonor at the hands of their college PTIs and staff and s
ccessive heads of the JU sports department. “Rather than giving us incentives and recognition, we were demeaned and targeted for being in national camps and missing our studies, while we doubled up to catch up with our academics” said Palak. “For years, JU did not field its team in the inter university championships, despite our repeated pleas even as we assured the authorities of medals” she added. Defeated by the apathetical attitude of the authorities, Palak and Mitali sought migration from Jammu University and joined Punjab University Chandigarh, who extended them all support including assistance in training, scholarships and total exemption of fee. “The authorities in Punjab University value their sportspersons, they have offered us all that we kept pleading for while in Jammu, both from JU as well as Sports Council” said Palak. “Now that we have won 11 medals for the university, we have got cash scholarships and the authorities have even agreed to sponsor our foreign training” she added. The story of JU’s loss is not confined to these two champion gymnasts only. Four of Jammu’s fencers, namely Sangram Singh, Pankaj Sharma, Mohd. Tariq and Javed Ahmad, all national medalists, migrated to GNDU Amritsar and won medals for them. Judo players Danish and Shweta Gupta, both national medalists, also abandoned JU to seek admissions in GNDU and represented Indian universities in world universities championships.
Rather than giving us incentives and recognition, we were demeaned and targeted for being in national camps and missing our studies, while we doubled up to catch up with our academics, For years, JU did not field its team in the inter university championships, despite our repeated pleas even as we assured the authorities of getting medals.