Assam Wrestling Academy closed down just 2 months after launch, 40 students left in the lurch
By our Staff Reporter
GUWAHATI, April 28: After being selected for the first camp of the Assam Wrestling Academy, 40 boys and girls had come to Guwahati from different corners of the State with hopes of making it big in the ring some day. Just three months on, they are now protesting the callous neglect and arbitrariness of sport authorities, with a question mark over their futures.
The worst fears of the trainees came true and their hopes shattered today evening when they were handed over a letter signed by Sports Authority of Assam secretary Anjan Sarma that the academy has been closed down due to shortage of funds.
“They had asked to bring our academic certificates. We were told that we will be admitted in city schools so that we can continue our studies. They played with our futures,” said one of them.
The Assam Wrestling Academy was launched by the Sports Authority of Assam with much hype. The first ‘residential state of the art wrestling academy to facilitate local talents’, the academy is described in the official website as a “historical step” by Sports Authority of Assam.
The 40 students were selected for the first session of the academy after assessment camps held in 11 districts conducted between October 27 and November 13 last year. The results were announced on November 23 last and the first session iugurated at the Amingaon Rajiv Gandhi Indoor stadium, Jalukbari, on February 28.
All was hunky-dory for the trainees till election officials took over the stadium on March 20. The trainees were shifted to the Nehru Stadium, from where all their troubles began.
Facilities were sparse at the stadium.
In a sudden move, the sports authorities announced a Bihu vacation from April 8 to 20, after which the student left for their homes. “We were already in doubt if the session would resume again. That is why, before returning to Guwahati, we called up the people here and inquired when the session would resume, but no one was willing to commit anything,” lamented another trainee.
The trainees, however, grouped and decided to meet the Sports director on April 24. But he too remained elusive.
On the evening of April 25 when the trainees reached Nehru Stadium, they were told that the stadium has been closed and would not reopen anytime soon.
In the meantime, the Kamrup metropolitan deputy commissioner took the trainees to the circuit house where they are currently housed.
The trainees again demonstrated at the office of the Sports director today only to be detained by the police.
The academy was led by B. Kumbang, as chief technical advisor. Kumbang is the first intertiol professiol wrestler from the Northeast, Bollywood actor and action director. The academy was launched with a budget of Rs 98 lakh.