Euphoria seems to have faded away and now comes the reality to the fore. According to media reports, India women’s freestyle wrestling team coach Kuldeep Malik, who played a big role in Sakshi Malik’s success at the Rio Olympics, has been left out in the cold when it came to awards and recognition. As matter of fact, he is yet to get any cash awards or recognition.
After he returned from Rio Games along with Sakshi, the Haryana government presented him with a photocopy of Rs 10 lakh cheque at a felicitation function in Bahadurgarh but even after a month later, the SAI coach is yet to get a real cheque.
A “promise of promotion” by Railway Minister Suresh Prabhu on the day Sakshi was presented with Khel Ratna on August 29 has also remained only word of mouth, Kuldeep, a chief ticket inspector of Northern Railway, revealed.
His attempts to get in touch with the Haryana government and the Railway Sports Promotion Board have gone in vain in last one month.
“There may be fat cash awards and a super luxury BMW car for Sakshi, but I’ve not got anything, even the promises are still to be met,” Kuldeep, who has coached Sakshi since 2011, told PTI.
“I’m yet to get a penny. I’ve repeatedly followed it up for the cheque but the officials have kept on dilly-dallying.”
Lamenting about the promise of a promotion by the Railway Minister, he said: “When I told Railway officials about the Minister’s promise, they said coaches were not given promotion on the basis of their disciple’s success.”
A Dhyan Chand awardee in 2010, Kuldeep has been with Sakshi, who bagged the bronze medal at the Olympics, since 2011. He also guided her to win Commonwealth Games Glasgow 2014 silver medal and a bronze at the Asian Championship Doha 2015. Kuldeep, however, said Sakshi has not deserted him.
“She gives me tremendous respect whenever we meet. I’m not begging for any cash rewards but at least you should keep your promise. Everyone knows what we have achieved and I will always think that Sakshi’s bronze will remain my biggest reward,” he signed off.