Railways to formulate new sports promotion policy

New Delhi: Railways on Wednesday announced that a policy will be soon formulated to focus on better promotional avenues for its sportspersons, weed out technical problems in their promotion and look into their overall well-being.

“There will be a new sports promotion policy to promote sports ... with less technicalities (for promotion) and more on practicality. It will have a more practical approach to promote sports,” Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee said here.

Felicitating railway sportspersons who won medal in the recently concluded Commonwealth Games, she said the policy will also take into account the contribution of the coaches.

The felicitation function was briefly interrupted when the minister sought to know from Railway Board Chairman Vivek Sahai the existing promotion policy. She was giving away prizes to gold medal winner Sushil Kumar who is at present a senior commercial manager in the Railways.

She asked Sahai as to why Kumar should not be promoted following his performances in the CWG 2010.

When technical difficulties were cited as reason for not promoting Kumar to a cadre-based post, the minister shot back saying since the sportspersons belonged to special category, there should not be any difficulty in their promotions.

“Technicality is not the matter. What matters is reality. I cannot wait long (in awarding promotion). They belong to special category,” she said.

Out-of-turn promotion in cadre-based posts need cabinet approval, something which is coming in the way from promoting railway sportspersons into higher grades, sources said.

Banerjee during her presentation had questioned as to why sportspersons should be appointed only as guards and ticket collectors.

She also announced a programme for railway sportspersons to perform better in the coming London Olympic Games.

“We will identify 10 sport disciplines for the Olympic and provide all support including infrastructure and training facilities to the sportspersons,” she said.