Gazetted posts for medalists a distant dream in Uttar Pradesh?

The state government’s promise to offer a gazetted officer’s post to Commonwealth Games gold medallist lifter Punam Yadav of Varanasi seems to be a distant dream as four medallists of the 2014 Commonwealth Games are still waiting for their appointments. The orders in this regard were issued way back in November 2015.

On Sunday, the state government announced Rs 50 lakh to Punam as per its old policy and promised her a gazetted officer’s post in the state government.

“Certainly, it is a big offer and she will accept it, if given in writing,” her elder sister Shashi Yadav said on Tuesday.

Punam, who had a bronze medal at the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Glasgow, lifted a personal best of 222kg (110kg+122kg) to claim the top spot on Sunday. After joining the North Eastern Railway, she was promoted as senior ticket collector. After her show at the Gold Coast event, she is expected to be the head ticket collector.

Soon after the then state government announced its policy (76/2442/42-2015-117 (vividh)/2014) for direct appointment of medal winners of international events like Olympics, World Cup, World Championship, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games on November 2, 2015, four international medallists from UP – Seema Punia, Mohd Asab, Swati Singh and Priyanka Pawar – applied for their appointment. The players are still awaiting appointments.

In its November 2015 order, the government had sanctioned posts in various departments including 14 in urban development, nine in sports, seven in home, four in rural development, three in secondary education, and two each in panchayati raj, power, youth welfare, transport, forest and revenue departments.

“We have been struggling for appointments for the last two years. Even after completing all the formalities, we don’t know why our files are lying unattended,” said Swati, who had won a bronze medal in weightlifting.

“Every time we are told that a policy is being finalised and soon we will get to know about our jobs,” said Swati, who is working in the North Eastern Railway (NER) here.

Muzzafarnagar’s Priyanka had gold in women’s 4 x 400 metres relay at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea, Mohd Asab, who competes in double trap event, bagged bronze at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Glasgow, Scotland. Discus thrower Seema Punia won a silver medal at the Glasgow Games in 2014 before winning a gold medal at the 2014 Asian Games at Incheon.

“What else can you expect from sportspersons like Seema to get a job in the state government? She has been running from pillar to post but to no avail,” Seema’s husband and international athlete Krishna Punia said.

While accepting a technical delay in the process, additional chief secretary, sports and youth welfare, Mohd Iftikharuddin on Tuesday promised to expedite the matter. “The process is on and we are checking the policy. Hopefully we will settle the issue soon,” he said, adding that the process had been expedited.