Archers accuse govt for 'step motherly treatment'

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New Delhi, Oct 2: Another cry of ''step motherly treatment'' to sportspersons other than cricketers came today from Archery Association of India with its president Vijay Kumar Malhotra lambasting the governments and media for ignoring other sports.

''There is no denying the fact that cricket has made all of us proud by winning the Twenty20 World Cup and they do deserve all the adulation and felicitation that are being showered on them.

''But, it is pathetic that not only media and corporate houses but state governments are ignoring sportspersons other than cricketers and are giving them step motherly treatment.

''These sportspersons (other than cricketers) have earned no less honour and pride for the country,'' Malhotra lamented.

''It is most unfortunate that Indian men archery team of Mangal Singh Champia, Rahul Banerjee, Jayanta Talukdar and Adonda Raju that brought the glory to India after a gap of 18 years by winning team gold in the Asian Championship last month could not attract even a fraction of attention being meted out to the Twenty20 World Cup winning team.

''The brilliant performance confirming an individual berth for Beijing Olympics by Mangal Singh hardly occupied any space in the newspapers due to the fact that our media officials were more curious to cover Twenty20 World Cup,'' Malhotra said in a statement.

He also said that despite winning world title in Great Britain this year and in Turkey in 2005, Dola Banerjee was not given due recognition by West Bengal government.

''If state governments are honouring cricketers with huge public money and gifts, why not the same to the others who put their equally best efforts for bringing laurels for the nation competing with much higher number of countries,'' the Lok Sabha MP said.

''Anyone who is associated with sports cannot sit and remain a silent spectator to the injustice meted out to archers. This would be extremely detrimental to Indian sports.

''As for cricket, the team ranks sixth among the 10 Test playing nations,'' he said.

He said cricketers received rich rewards from BCCI and state governments and sponsorship from various corporate houses after winning a series while players of other sports ''are looked down with step motherly attitude even after winning a number of medals in Asian and World Championships''.

UNI

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