The Arvind Kejriwal government had put up huge hoardings of table tennis star Manika Batra, shooter Deepak Kumar and two 400m runners, Amoj Jacob and Sarthak Bhambri all over Delhi just ahead of the Tokyo Olympics 2020. However, now one of them has informed that apart from the advertisements, the Delhi govt didn’t provide any help to the athletes ahead of the just-concluded Olympics.
These posters had read, ‘Delhi bole jeet ke ana’, but “kaise jeet ke ana? (Delhi says win medal at Olympics. How to win this way?)” asked 22-year-old runner Sarthak Bhambri reacting to the hoardings.
Bhambri came down heavily on the Delhi government for not offering any support to the athletes and sportsmen. Seems like the promises and initiatives of the Delhi government are limited just to the city hoardings.
“I can tell you that Delhi government never came to my help, no monetary help was ever offered to me,” said the athlete who earned a spot in the India 400m relay team after a string of medal-winning performances at multiple national events.
Lamenting on the hoardings featuring him, Bhambri said, “I saw somewhere that crores have been spent on hoardings and posters for the Olympics. Even If they gave us 10-15 per cent of that for our preparations months before going to the Olympics, we could have put it to good use on our performance.”
Bhambri also blew the lid of the Delhi government’s Mission Excellence scheme which claims to financially aid top athletes from the national capital. Alleging no benefit from the scheme, the young athlete said, “Mission Excellence is a good scheme they have but they need to really revamp it because if I do well today in the Olympics and I want to prepare for Asian Games and Commonwealth Games next year, then I won’t have any funding until 2023, then what’s the use of it?”
“I have 8-10 months left for CWG but if no funding is going to come then how will we grow,” he added.
The athlete, however, released a Tweet saying that he fully supports the state government and that he wasn’t aware of the government policies after the article went viral.
“My recent interaction with media was not shown in a healthy way. I am in full support of the Delhi Government. I was earlier not aware of the policies & hence couldn’t apply for mission excellence scheme,” Bhambri Tweeted.
My recent interaction with media was not shown in a healthy way. I am in full support of the Delhi Government. I was earlier not aware of the policies & hence couldnt apply for mission excellence scheme. @ArvindKejriwal ji @msisodia ji @kmmalleswari ji— Sarthak Bhambri (@BhambriSarthak) August 11, 2021
This is not the first time the state government has received criticism for unhelpfulness. As per reports, World Championship bronze medallist boxer Gaurav Bidhuri and wrestler Divya Kakran had also slammed the government for not providing any help.
Who is Sarthak Bhambri?
The 22-year-old sprinter, Bhambri is a resident of Delhi’s Rajouri Garden and is an undergraduate student. Bhambri and Jacob were members of the 400m relay squad, the team that set the Asian record at the Olympics with a timing of 3:00:25 seconds.
Bhambri came a long way after suffering a career-threatening knee injury five years ago. He made his come back in 2020 and won two gold medals in 200m/400m sprints with a meeting record at the Delhi State Athletics Championships.