Karnataka Sports Federation of the Deaf is not able to provide coaching facilities or organise sports events for hearing impaired sportspersons due to lack of funds. They say they have not received any funds from All India Sports Council of the Deaf (AISD) for last three years.
“We have not received any funds from All India Sports Council of the Deaf for the last three years. As per the Karnataka State Sports Policy, we are entitled to get Rs. 5 lakh for development of sports that includes remuneration for coaches, conducting sports events etc. We have sent them many letters, but they do not reply,” Mr Kumar V, Secretary, Karnataka Sports Federation of the Deaf told City Cast.
Without coaches, and fewer tournaments, players complain about less practice and exposure causing them to underperform at national level events.
“I cannot hear properly which makes it difficult for me to practice with normal coaches. We need special coaches who can easily work with us. We do not practice regularly now. And, a few of my friends are also planning to leave sports now”, Kirti, an athlete, who has represented Karnataka at National Deaf Games said.
Parents also feel that taking up sports career had changed their children’s lives and made them confident. But, negligence by the government is becoming a demotivating factor for them now.
“Participation in sports has made my daughter a confident person. She is a completely changed person and is living life with pride. We are forced to manage all kind of expenses for her as she is not getting any support from any organisation. Two years back, she won Gold Medal in 1500 m race at the national level and was later felicitated by the chief minister. But still, I have to buy her new sports shoes for her events. We also know about the condition of the Deaf Association, who is also not able to get anything from the government. Children need support from government to make them proud.”
However, AISD does not agree with the allegations and is claiming to provide required support to all Deaf associations across the country.
“We have not received any request from the Karnataka association. Whoever comes to us for any help, we provide them with money. This association is taking care of deaf sports across the country. We conduct national level events every year and do not get any complaints from other sports associations of the country. They should come to us and meet in person if there is any communication gap; we will provide them with every possible support.”
With AISD agreeing to discuss the matter, deaf sportsperson has some hope to get back to old tracks.