With the 2016 Rio Olympics just a year away, athletes around the world are preparing for the mega event. However, Indian shotputter Inderjeet Singh, who has already qualified for the quadrennial sports event, is in a sorry state due to lack of finance.
The Indian athlete has been performing amazingly well in the last 12 months or so as he has recently won a gold medal in the Asian Championships in Wuhan, Asian Grand Prix in Bangkok and World University Games in South Korea.
Apart from these achievements, he also won a bronze medal in the 2014 Asian Games along with a silver medal winning performance at the 2013 World University Games. Winning such titles is a big deal when it comes to the sport, in which not many Indian athletes have been able to create a great impression.
Despite such standout performances, the Indian shotputter is helpless as he does not have any expert or physio to look after his preparations. Singh is more scared that he might be dropped from the team if he gets injured.
"In the last three tournaments that I have participated in, I have created new records. But I have no doctor, no physio, no expert to help me. Just me and my coach, we are a team. If I get injured, there will be nobody to back me, they will drop me from the team just like that," NDTV quoted Inderjeet Singh as saying.
Inderjeet's name is included in the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme, which provides financial assistance, but is yet to receive money. In fact, the shotputter only came to know about his inclusion in the scheme via media.
"I didn't even get a letter or an email saying my name is in the TOP scheme, I read about it in the papers the next day," said Inderjeet.
"With a year to go for the Olympics, if they don't release money now, when will they?"
After his impressive performance at the 2014 Asian Games, the Haryana government promised to give him 75 lakh, but he has not received that money as well.
Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij went on to blame the previous government for it. "The total prize money that was to be given to the athletes is 70 crore. But this is the previous government's fault. They cheated on people, and the athletes," Anil Vij said.