Rowing . . . gently down the stream was not to be for Spoorthi!
Spoorthi Nagesh, a 16-year old budding rowing athlete, works hard not just to win a place in the rowing team for the nationals, but also to understand why her life turns unfair at times, especially of late.
Unable to bear to see the disappointment on his daughter's face, Spoorthi's father filed a Grievance Letter with the Sports Authority of Karnataka (SAK), the Sports Minister, the Secretary of KARA,and also with the Rowing Federation of India (RFI). He also spoke to the President of KARA, who in turn instructed and advised the secretary of KARA for the selection trials to be held again for Spoorthi.
As per the KARA Secretary's instructions, Spoorthi distributed the colors with her usual aplomb. After the event, the KARA secretary circulated the photos with Spoorthi as the chief guest. The secretary used Spoorthi's celebrity status in the rowing community to clear, approve and secure the funding from SAK; highlighting the fact that Spoorthi, the winner of many races, had "Compromised" for the good of the sport and the team.
With this as the background, two months before the national Games in 2015 to be held in Allappuzha, Kerala, end of January 2015, the president of KARA visits the rowing club and the rowers are given the chance of picking their own partners. A selection committee of two coaches and two girls was also announced. But, in the end there was only one coach for taking the timings.
KARA is supposed to select 6 (six) SWEEP ROWERS and 2 (two) RESERVES as per RFI bulletin for the national games in 2015 to be held in Allappuzha, Kerala from the 30th of January to the 6th of February. However, in spite of this RFI bulletin, KARA selected only 4 (four) SWEEP ROWERS for the 2015 national games, specifically to avoid inclusion of Spoorthi in the team. Now with just 4 members to the team, each sweep rowing pair would have to participate in 3 (three) races instead of 1 (one) race. Each pair will now end up rowing 8 kms on the day of Heats and Repechages. This not only is strenuous for the rowers impacting their performance, but also greatly decreases the chances of success for Karnataka in the forthcoming Allappuzha 2015 National Games .
She has been denied training and her admission into the Trishna rowing club is in question. The governing council, formed only to approve Spoorthi's admission to the club, may agree and grant her permission to practice at the club. However, as informed to Spoorthi's father by the secretary of KARA, Spoorthi was not to be allowed to train in Trishna club.
In addition to all these shenanigans by KARA, Spoorthi's father also has quite a valid question . . .
- QQ Why do the rowers need to spend ₹13,000 to renew their admissions each year, when the coaching is supposed to be free, while the equipment is provided by MEG and funded by the Karnataka government?
Probably, it is this question and the pointed questions on the conduct of the secretary on the selection process of the rowers, that led to Spoorthi being totally sidelined and eliminated from the national games.
Spoorthi's father is yet to receive a response from the Rowing Federation of India (ROI) on his Grievance Letter filed on 30th October, 2014.
Incidentally, as a result of the goings on and practices at KARA more and more being questioned, KARA now has introduced a new rule. The rule simply states that any member who wishes to join KARA and get trained under the club must abstain from questioning any practices or procedures followed by KARA in administering the training and selection of any rowing team.
Interesting . . .!
Spoorthi's father in frustration, with all other avenues closed for him, has now resorted to RTI to obtain his long overdue response to his Grievance Letter of last year. Through RTI he also seeks to get clarifications on some of the administrative discrepancies that he has identified at:
- RFI – Rowing Federation of India,
- SAK – Sports Authority of Karnataka,
- KOA – Karnataka Olympic Association, and
- KARA – Karnataka Amateur Rowing Association.
If you have already filed your RTI Application, you can track the status and progress of your application on our site.
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Jolly Thomas, RE Pro Executive
I am from Vellore, a small town in Northern Tamil Nadu where healing is in the air with CMC (Christian Medical College) touching most peoples' lives there. Marriages and deaths there are still screamed out as before with loud hoardings all over, and education is at its best with Vellore Institute of Technology. This small town bustles with people from different religions, walks of life, struggling with narrow lanes and traffic, and this town comes alive with fairs and kills you with its extreme hot weather.
I happen to be this small town social worker with dreams, tinier than the cells in my body, but alive and teeming around, rearing to go. And now Online RTI is the place for me to be, with its big heart and dreams that comfort your soul – if just being good is all what you want.
So, what do I love doing? Singing my guts out, no matter whether I am good at it or not, is what I love. Haunting my spacious home with my poor ageing parents in it (I often hallucinate that I am dead . . .) and living my life to its fullest, which is expressed in my ever expanding and contracting waistline.
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