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Govt. sets up committee to examine state of Sports Authority of India centres

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NEW DELHI: The government has set up a committee to study the present status of Sports Authority of India centres, particularly in view of the recent attempted suicide by four female inmates of whom one girl trainee died.

Describing the incident at SAI SAG Water Sports centre at Alappuzha, Kerala in May as ‘tragic and shocking’, the Sports Ministry said the Committee will also recommend measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur in future. SAI director (Personnel) will facilitate the working of the Committee.

This incident attracted wide-spread attention and underlined the need for systemic improvement to ensure well-being of inmates in SAI Centres.

The Committee will be headed by sportsperson Ashwini Nachappa with seven members of whom one is Dr. Jaspal Sandhu who is secretary in the University Grants Commission while one is a journalist K P Mohan and there is a former member of the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights  Neena P. Nayak. The others are Gopi Chand, Malay Shroff, Bhogeshwar Barua, and hockey expert Baldev Singh. The Committee has been asked to submit its report within three months.

The committee should visit at least one or two centers in each region (North, South, East, West), study the issues involved and give recommendations on issues of athletes at the training centers and recommendations for resolving them, management of their stress levels, quality of food served, timely availability of dietary supplements,   cleanliness, recreational facilities, athlete grievance redressal, anti-sexual harassment measures,  overall security, systems, procedures, checks and balances, system of reporting and monitoring required to ensure holistic development and well being of athletes.

SAI Centres are spread all over the country and have different issues in view of different cultures, climatic conditions, sports disciplines, backgrounds of athletes and locations, etc. The Committee may take into account such differences while making its recommendations. 

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