Bedi ‘shocked’ at manner of appointment of sports coaches

Puducherry: Puducherry Lt Governor Kiran Bedi Saturday expressed shock over the appointment of sports coaches in the union territory allegedly without following any formal rules. She said this in a WhatsApp message to mediapersons after a meeting with coaches appointed by the government in batches since 2010.

The meeting was to hear out the coaches’ grievances and also identify deficiencies in respect of various features of their appointment. All the coaches had reportedly not received their salaries for several months, she said. The 33 coaches who took part in the interaction were asked to respond to a questionnaire.

“Revelations by the coaches were truly disappointing,” she said adding they were all appointed without following any formal rules of recruitment. The Lt Governor further said they were absorbed with an annual contract and their salary was fixed in an arbitrary manner and the first batch was appointed in 2005. Three batches have been appointed so far.

“Increase in their salary is at the pleasure of the Sports Minister of Puducherry and aided by public officials,” Bedi said adding none of their annual contracts has been renewed since 2010. On several occasions they provided from their own resources the necessary equipment for students to play, she said.

Most of the coaches are in debt as they live on borrowed money or with the support of their friends and families, Bedi said. The Director of Sports has been handed a copy of all responses given by the coaches and asked to come out with a detailed response plan from the department to extend urgent relief to them. “All these issues should be examined by Department of Education before grant in aid is released”, she said.