Hundreds of players- who were gathered at Bakshi Stadium Srinagar on Friday to attend the inauguration of the refurbished stadium, were forced to remain without water and food for seven long hours- thanks to the alleged "callous" attitude of the Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council.
While videos of players have gone viral on social media in which helpless players were complaining that they were not allowed to even bring water bottles inside the stadium.
"Since 9 am we have been sitting inside the stadium without food and water. Neither we were allowed to bring water bottles inside the stadium nor refreshment was served to us by the organizers", a player complained in a video. He said that due to security reasons they were not allowed to bring tiffin inside the stadium.
Annoyed over the attitude of the organizers, the player pointed out that they were virtually caged in the stadium from 9 am to 6.30 pm without food and water.
Secretary Sports Council refuses to comment on complaints
Despite repeated attempts Secretary Jammu and Kashmir Sports Council Nuzhat Gul refused to comment on videos that have gone viral on social media.
Instead of commenting on viral videos, Secretary Sports Council circulated some pictures in which some volunteers were seen preparing food pockets but not even a single picture was shared regarding the distribution of food pockets or water to the players who were sitting in the stadium since morning.
"Not Required" was her reply when asked to comment on videos being circulated on social media. She only mentioned the pictures shared by her to counter the allegations.
Interestingly she only shared pictures but did not share the content of these pictures in which food was being made but not being served.
"Sports Council brazenly exploited helpless players just to hoodwink VIPs"
Expressing his anguish over the alleged inhuman treatment meted out to players who came from all 10 districts of Kashmir Valley, Faisal Ali Dar, the first Padma awardee in sports from Kashmir, regretted those helpless players were virtually caged for seven long hours without food and water.
"Most of the players have entered the Stadium at 9 am but they were neither served food nor water till completion of the function at 6.30 pm," Dar told The International Bussiness Times.
"Even after completion of the function neither water nor food pockets were served to the players who were sitting inside the Stadium as a crowd", he said and added that food pockets prepared by the authority were served only to some players who participated in the march-past.
Faisal Ali Dar, who is a role model for sportspersons of Kashmir Valley, cautioned that such an attitude of bureaucrats would discourage budding players of the Union Territory.
"Budding players should not be used as crowd by the officers just to make their points before the VIPs", he said.