Kolkata: They migt be winning laurels for the country all over the world but Indian archers are treated like "lepers" by the Sports Authority of India, alleges Archery Association of India Secretary General Paresh Nath Mukherjee.
Mukherjee says that the campers were being treated like "lepers".
A senior Olympian archer along with coaches and officials too claimed of ill-treatment by the authorities of SAI and that they were living in an unhygienic condition in the camp in Kolkata.
"It's not today's development. Our archers are treated as if they are 'lepers', for years. Is SAI listening?" a miffed Mukherjee said.
"The authorities at SAI are forgetting that archery is their pride here. It's the only sport that is done with an objective and the archers can only put SAI Kolkata in limelight. If the archers are gone, SAI will be left with nothing here."
"Our only aim at this point is to qualify for the Olympics (through the upcoming World Championship in Italy). I told them not to lose focus. If the food is not eatable then spend money and eat outside, but never lose concentration."
Olympic spots will be up for grabs at World Archery Championships to be held in Turin from July 3-10 and before that the archers will compete in the World Cup Stage II to be held in Antalya from June 6-12.
Highlighting their plight, an international medalist said, "Toilets are unhygienic. You will see a long queue in the morning as only two toilets are available for 26 campers.
"The food is not eatable and sub-standard. Archery equipment supply is poor and we are managing on our own. Is it the ideal way to prepare for Olympics?" the senior archer asked.
SAI director S Harmpilapi was not available for comment.
First Published: Tuesday, May 31, 2011, 14:37