Afghanistan seal Test status

first_imgLONDON (CMC):Just two weeks after shocking West Indies for their first win over a major Test-playing side, minnows Afghanistan have been granted Test status by the International Cricket Council (ICC).They, along with Ireland, were adopted as full members following a unanimous vote at the ICC Full Council meeting at the Oval yesterday.”For a nation like Afghanistan, it is a huge and remarkable achievement. The entire nation will be celebrating across all five regions and different provinces. It is the perfect Eid (Muslim festival) gift,” Afghanistan Cricket Board chief executive Shafiq Stanikzai said.”Everyone has waited for this news and has been so keen to hear this news. Afghanistan Cricket has gone from strength to strength and we dared to dream that this would happen, and today, it has become a reality.”Afghanistan, coached by discarded West Indies head coach Phil Simmons, has made waves over the last year with victory in the Intercontinental Cup over Ireland in March, and one-day wins over the Irish, Zimbabwe and Scotland.They snatched the headlines earlier this month when they stunned two-time former World Cup champions West Indies by 63 runs in the first One-Day International of the three-match series at the Darren Sammy Cricket Ground in St Lucia.They then forced the Windies to labour in pursuit of 136 for victory in the second match, before the hosts got home by four wickets in the 40th over.Afghanistan and Ireland will become the 11th and 12th Test playing nations, joining Australia, India, England, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, Pakistan, New Zealand, Zimbabwe and West Indies.last_img read more

Read More »

Transfer rumours and paper review – Friday, February 27

first_imgHere’s the top transfer-related stories in Friday’s newspapers…Southampton defender Nathaniel Clyne is wanted by Chelsea as the Blues prepare to battle Manchester United for the Saints star. (Daily Mirror)The Red Devils will listen to offers for Rafael da Silva at the end of the season, with Louis van Gaal holding talks with senior figures this week over the Old Trafford futures of a further 10 players. (Daily Telegraph)Cheick Tiote will miss the remainder of the season following knee surgery and could have now played his last game for Newcastle United. (Daily Mail)Gus Poyet has reassured Emanuele Giaccherini that he has a future at Sunderland after a nightmare two seasons at the Stadium of Light. (Daily Mail)Robin Van Persie could miss Manchester United’s next four league games through injury. The striker, 31, suffered ankle ligament damage at Swansea on Saturday. (The Sun)Manchester City are keen to tie Yaya Toure down to new long-term bumper contract. (Daily Star)Liverpool starlet Jordon Ibe set for new contract that will more than quadruple his wages (Daily Mirror)And here are the latest talkSPORT.com transfer tales…Midfielder set for Chelsea return as AC Milan opt against dealQPR and West Brom transfer target in talks over Moscow moveManchester United outcast admits he still ‘loves’ the club and wants to stayBrentford set to win battle with Watford for Leicester defenderFormer Juventus defender set for shock Watford moveReports – Manchester United prepare summer swoop for Real Madrid starReports – Blow for Liverpool and Manchester City! Argentine star set to stay at PSGlast_img read more

Read More »

‘Sanchez has stunk out Man United – and his wages are lunacy’, says Simon Jordan

first_imgThe Chilean ace signed a £500,000-a-week deal with the Red Devils in January 2018, and recent reports claim he has now banked £41m in wages since he joined the club.That works out at £8.2m for each of the five goals he has scored in total since he arrived at Old Trafford.It appears his United nightmare could soon be over amid links with a loan move to Inter, with the Italian club said to be in ‘early talks’ with the Premier League giants over a deal for Sanchez. “You wanted this kind of money, and with that kind of money comes expectation and then subsequent to that comes performances.“Where is the player in all of this? Why isn’t the player doing his job?“We’re talking about a player who isn’t lifting a leg and is getting £25million a year! It’s lunacy!”Listen back to Simon Jordan on The Final World IN FULL above getty Alexis Sanchez could go down as one of the worst Manchester United signing ever Arsenal transfer news LIVE: Ndidi bid, targets named, Ozil is ‘skiving little git’ 2 New job BIG PRESENTS UP TOP Former Crystal Palace and West Brom manager Pardew takes over at Dutch strugglers OFF FAREWELL Sanchez’s time at Old Trafford has been a disaster so far LATEST And Jordan has blasted the 30-year-old’s attitude, saying he is not proving bang for buck in a United shirt.“The fact of the matter is, Alexis Sanchez has stunk the place out,” the former Crystal Palace chairman said on the Final Word.“He has stunk the place out, and I don’t think his attitude has been spot on either.“You don’t go from a big-time player and game-changer at Arsenal to being a player who is suddenly being weighed down by the expectation of you. latest Top scorer in 2019: Messi, Mbappe and Sterling trailing Europe’s top marksman LATEST FOOTBALL HEADLINES Redknapp calls Son ‘petulant’, but Holloway says red card for Rudiger kick was ‘soft’ What every Premier League club’s fans dream of this Christmas Matic one of two players for sale with ‘two Premier League clubs’ interested 2 on target deals Simon Jordan says Alexis Sanchez has ‘stunk the place out’ since joining Manchester United, and is raging the forward has got away with ‘not lifting a leg’ on £25million-a-year wages.Sanchez has spectacularly flopped since his arrival from Arsenal 18 months ago. Liverpool news live: Klopp reveals when Minamino will play and issues injury update Man United transfer news live: Haaland ‘wants a change’, two players off in January getty last_img read more

Read More »

Africa, diaspora to strengthen trade ties

first_img25 May 2012African and the Caribbean governments are set to invest more resources and energy towards developing and promoting stronger linkages between the two regions in the fields of trade and investment, science and technology and tourism.These, and many other such ideas geared towards fostering a stronger culture of cooperation between the mother continent and her diaspora, are some of the ideas contained in the draft declaration document that will be taken forward to the Global African Diaspora summit, which will be held on Friday, in Johannesburg.Over 60 representatives from various African countries and the diaspora, including the Caribbean and the Americas, will converge at the Sandton Convention Centre tomorrow – a day that coincides with Africa Day – for the eminent summit.Ministers from countries represented at the summit on Wednesday gathered at South Africa’s Department of International Relations and Cooperation headquarters in Pretoria for a meeting that essentially set the tone for tomorrow’s all-important summit.Chief amongst discussions between ministers was the draft declaration document, which is envisaged to be adopted at the close of the summit.The resolutions set forth, amongst others, the need for Africa and her diaspora to work together towards achieving the objectives of the African Union (AU).The AU’s vision is that of “an integrated, prosperous and peaceful Africa, driven by its own citizens and representing a dynamic force in global arena”.Identifying areas of cooperationThe ministers identified areas of cooperation including education, health, culture and environmental issues as some of the crucial fields where Africa and her diaspora could build concrete relations in order to bring to fruition the AU’s vision.With global competiveness for skills, resources, land and other commodities being at an all-time high, the ministers resolved that more needed to be done through the various regional organisations to explore ways of harmonising international diplomacy and cooperation.SA’s International Relations and Cooperation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane said they would take these ideas contained the draft declaration to the leaders’ summit so they can be considered for implementation.Tomorrow’s summit will be held under the theme, “Towards the Realisation of a United and Prosperous Africa and its Diaspora”.Amongst others, it will consider the possible inclusion of the diaspora as a sixth region of the AU and endorse an AU Diaspora Volunteer Programme, which would associate the diaspora directly with the development efforts on the continent.In a statement issued at the end of the ministerial meeting on Wednesday, Nkoana-Mashabane said the summit was one of the vehicles through which the African Union and the African diaspora aimed to realise the vision of a united, peaceful and prosperous Africa and her diaspora.“We are mindful of the fact that unifying Africa’s people is a process; and we are of the view that this summit marks a significant milestone in this process of unifying Africa and her diaspora.”Funding Africa’s infrustructure driveThe other resolution the ministers’ meeting hoped would be adopted on Friday included the African Diaspora Fund, whereby Africans abroad would be able to invest in African development projects and an increase in spending on infrastructure development of the continent.According to the AU, the continent would require about US$60-billion over the next 10 years to meet its infrastructure needs.The ministers also hoped that there would be a creation of a database of professional skills in the African diaspora, as well as the adoption and promotion of the Development Market Place for an African Diaspora model as a framework to facilitate innovation and develop entrepreneurship to empower the youth of the continent and her diaspora.The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Jean Ping, had indicated in his opening remarks that the draft declaration was a credible and important document that was adapted to the letter and spirit of the Diaspora Initiative. Equally important was that it was both a proposed law and working document.Ping added that the process of rebuilding the African family was and would always remain a work in progress that could not be accomplished in one day. Concomitantly, he said focus must be on establishing appropriate structures that would facilitate more effective diaspora participation in the affairs of the Union.The ministerial meeting, meanwhile, reinforced the call for Africa and its diaspora to unite in order to build a solid foundation for reviving the African family across the world – a move that will give impetus to the renaissance of the continent.Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

Read More »

Doctors Without Borders asks if you can make the #ToughDecisions

first_imgDr  Mohammed Dalwai  treats a patient at a field hospital in Libya. (Image credit: MSF)Sulaiman PhilipWhen a bomb detonates, the blast wave – pressurised compressed air – causes major internal injuries as victims closest to the explosion are knocked down. With the explosion comes the blast wind and a vacuum is created, making it impossible to breathe. The shockwave follows closely behind, further damaging organs in a remarkably fragile body. Victims are peppered with flying splinters, hot steel or junk metal, included in the bomb’s design to cause the maximum number of injuries. Now, imagine that you are the doctor faced with victims of that blast streaming into your impermanent, understaffed and under-equipped hospital in a bleak tribal region of Pakistan. Who do you treat first? The child covered in blood or the woman stumbling around, clutching her chest with no visible wounds to treat.South Africans working with Doctors Without Borders (Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF)) make these life-altering decisions every day. The aid group’s latest awareness campaign to publicise its life-saving work will put Twitter users in their shoes and asks if they could make those #ToughDecisions.South African citizens returning from placements with MSF find it difficult to share the intensity of their experiences, but it is these experiences that inform the new campaign. According to Borrie la Grange, head of communications of MSF South Africa, the campaign wants to turn the flippant Twitter hashtag #ToughDecisions on its head. “We all make decisions every day, about wardrobe choices or meals. We wanted to take that offhand action and show the power of making and how the same process changes lives in life and death situations. We wanted to clue South Africans in to the  work that is being done by their neighbours and friends.“Not everyone can do the work these men and women do but while sitting safely on your couch watching TV you can do something small to help them. For a price of one cup of coffee a month you can help save the life of a pregnant woman in South Sudan or treat a TB patient in South Africa.” South African medics on the frontlinesIn 2012 as bombs fell around the hospital in a cave in Syria, Dr Mohammed Dalwai had to decide: was it safe enough to stay as the fighting crept closer to their makeshift facility? “We knew there was no other medical care available. If anyone had been injured who would have treated them? In the end we stayed, but we reduced the team, keeping just the most vital medical staff in the field.”South Africa-trained medics – like Dr Vanessa Naidoo – have an enviable reputation internationally as trauma and emergency specialists. When working in a converted chicken farm in the middle of a warzone with non-existent medical infrastructure, it is the skill of the medics that saves lives.“As a doctor why do I ‘go to war’?” Naidoo asks unflinchingly. She explains that to her, and her colleagues, disregarding the sick or wounded, the newborn and the frail would be an unbearable humiliation to bear. Despite the trying circumstances she always goes back. “We don’t have much to work with in the field, but we do the best we can with what we have and what we know.  What keeps us going back is seeing the innocent and the wounded and understanding that we are all the same, and we have a responsibility to try to use our skills to ease the suffering and speak out against injustice where we can.”Naidoo is not a bleeding heart needing to save the world. She admits to a feeling of powerlessness when she looks at all the need in the world, “but I know how to help an old diabetic who has not had treatment for months. I may be able to help a child who tripped and fell while running behind a truck full of soldiers cheering them on. I could deliver a baby and save a woman in labour the unavoidable three-hour hike for medical care across an unsafe border. All of these things I can do.”Doctors like Dalwai and Naidoo, or Stefan Kruger and midwife Zani Prinsloo, do not see themselves as heroes says La Grange. The work they do is heroic but they are simply answering a call and fulfilling a need in themselves to provide medical care where it’s needed, much like MSF colleagues from around the world.George Mapiya, an MSF nurse, draws inspiration from a Somali colleague. In 2013 MSF was faced with one of its toughest decisions. After 21 years the safety of MSF staff became an issue after several attacks and the deaths of staff. Guarantees of safety were no longer in place so MSF decided to shut down its clinic in Marere, in war ravaged Somalia. A day after MSF closed operations armed men came to take over the remote Marere clinic intent on evicting staff and patients. “The assistant project coordinator was running operations and negotiating with the Al Shabab. If you see him you won’t believe it. He’s a simple, small-bodied man. The gunmen were so tough – they don’t have time to reason. But he succeeded in getting them to back off so that his team could provide five months of medication supply to the last of the TB patients in the ward. He stood up to a group of armed men for the sake of our patients. He was my hero,” Mapiya says.About Doctors Without BordersDoctors Without Borders is present in 67 countries and treats nine million of the worlds most in-need patients. Its budget is 90% funded by individual donations and allows the group to be independent, neutral and impartial. Its staff were on the ground within days of the 2010 Haitian earthquake, have run programmes in inner city slums in Johannesburg and on the battlefields of Syria. Established in 1971 the organisation also runs programmes bringing medical care to people who have been excluded from healthcare or those suffering from epidemics or neglected diseases.last_img read more

Read More »

NASA’s aviation spin-offs had global benefits

first_imgThe X-15 rocket plane. Photo: NASA From grooved runways to rocket planes, NASA has been at the cutting edge of aviation technology and is still pushing the envelope at age 60.When it comes to aviation icons it’s hard to go past the X-15 rocket plane built by North American Aviation and operated jointly by NASA and the US Air Force.The X-15 set the world record for the highest speed ever by a manned, powered aircraft in October 1967 when it flew at 6.73 times the speed of sound, or 4,520mph (7,274kmh)  at an altitude or more than 100,000 ft.NASA Boeing’s proposed hypersonic-passenger transport will benefit from NASA technology.Ultimately powered by a Thiokol XLR-99 rocket engine, it reached an altitude of 354,200ft  and contributed greatly to the space program by providing valuable data on aerodynamics,  structures, flight controls and the impact on humans of high-speed, high altitude flight.READ: Red planet still beckons as NASA turns 60The hypersonic plane was drop-launched from a B-52 bomber and flew 199 missions — a 200th flight was canceled because of technical problems — before it was retired.But the X-15 may now have a competitor in an uber-cool new X-plane set to make supersonic travel easy by greatly limiting sonic booms.NASA lowers boom in supersonic travelThe new X plane. Image: NASAThe US space agency has awarded a $US247.5 million contract to Lockheed Martin to build from scratch a needle-nosed aircraft that could happily grace any chapter of the Star Wars franchise.The 94-foot long plane is expected to start test flights in 2021 and fly at a cruising altitude of 55,000ft at Mach 1.42, or 940mph (1512kmh), with a top speed of Mach 1.5.It will use the latest in supersonic technologies to reduce the window-shaking sonic boom to a thump equivalent to the noise of car door closing.The single-pilot X plane will be propelled by a General Electric F414 engine used by F/A-18 fighters. A single pilot will be in a cockpit based on the design of the rear seat of the T-38 training jet famously used for years by NASA astronauts.A tentative schedule sees a critical design configuration review in 2019 that, if successful,  leads to the construction of the aircraft at Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works facility in Palmdale, California,  and delivery to NASA’s Armstrong Flight Research Center in 2021.A second phase beginning 2022 will see NASA fly the plane at the supersonic test range in Edwards to prove the quiet supersonic technology works as expected and the plane is safe.A series of trials will be conducted between 2022 and 2025 over four to six US cities to gauge community response to the technology.NASA says key to success for the Low-Boom Flight Demonstrator will be sonic booms “so quiet, people on the ground will hardly notice them if they hear them at all”.It plans to deliver the data to the  Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2025 so they can develop and adopt new rules to allow commercial supersonic flight over land.Nor have striking, needle-nosed planes been NASA’s only contribution to the world.Computer technology developed for the Space Shuttle program is used in commercial and military aircraft while the variable density wind tunnel operated by NASA’s forerunner,  NACA, at Langley from the 1920s put the agency at the forefront of global aeronautics research.NASA spinoffsThe variable wind tunnel. Photo: NASAThe test results from the variable density tunnel were superior to any previous design and made Langley a world leader in aerodynamic research for the next decade.READ a day on the NASA DC-8.NASA’s research into high-speed aircraft improved many of the features in commercial aircraft and the agency helped develop the digital “fly-by-wire” system used in modern jetliners to control flight surfaces.Winglets, the upturned tips of wings that save airlines billions in fuel costs, were also a product of advances made by NASA researchers.On the ground, grooved runways developed by NASA in the 1960s to increase traction and stop aircraft sliding after landing are now used around the world.There’s also an anti-icing system for single-engine planes.The space agency says its most ubiquitous spinoff was the sensor now used in most digital cameras, video cameras and smartphones.Invented at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory,  the complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensor was the brainchild of NASA scientist Eric Fossum and revolutionized photography.NASA spinoffs X planesPhoto: NASAOther spinoffs include a red light emitting diode used for growing plants in space that has been adapted to provide temporary relief from minor muscle and joint pain, the infrared ear thermometer and a life-saving heart pump.NASA even had a hand, along with Black & Decker, in the development of compact cordless power tools and its ultra-strong alloys have had a dramatic effect on the way golf clubs and other sporting equipment is manufactured.Packaging developed to keep food stable and safe for astronauts has improved food safety and home air purifiers use plug-in filters designed to help plants thrive in space.Memory foam also came from NASA as did freeze-dried food and  “space blankets” used by emergency services.last_img read more

Read More »

Poll Identifies 7 Challenges for Security Departments

first_imgThe Security Executive Council, which tracks trends among security practitioners, has identified seven issues that have challenged security leaders over the last 12 months. Justifying the resources to improve or expand security programs.Finding a reliable way to determine how well the contract officer program is performing.Bringing core programs up to practice levels that keep pace with business change.Keeping up with new or emerging security issues, trends and best practices.Keeping up with key security regulations and standards.Developing a cross-functional security operations center that works for our organization.Designing clear program plans or roadmaps that provide clarity and obtain stakeholder buy-in from the beginning.This week the Security Leadership Research Institute, the SEC’s research arm, is asking security practitioners to share their expertise by helping to identify the challenges in their organizations. This input will help the SLRI target their resources at the concerns that are most pressing for security leaders.- Sponsor – The SLRI’s quick poll on security challenges will only take a moment to complete. Click here to take the poll and make your voice heard. Read more about the seven challenges here.About the Security Executive Council The Security Executive Council is the leading research and advisory firm focused on corporate security risk mitigation strategies and plans. We work with security leaders to transform security programs into more capable and valued centers of excellence. Watch our 3-minute video for a quick overview or visit us at www.securityexecutivecouncil.com. Stay UpdatedGet critical information for loss prevention professionals, security and retail management delivered right to your inbox.  Sign up nowlast_img read more

Read More »

HBO’s “Silicon Valley” Is Getting More Women

first_imgRelated Posts Tags:#HBO#Kumail Nanjiani#Live Chat#Mike Judge#Silicon Valley#Silicon Valley HBO#Thomas Middleditch#twitter 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex… The actors and creators behind the hit HBO show Silicon Valley took to Twitter Wednesday to answer questions from fans with the hashtag #AskSiliconValley. The hit show parodies the technology industry from its perch in Hollywood, but it’s beloved by techies and critics alike. The second season begins airing in April 2015—which seems like a long time to wait in an era of binge-watching. Until then, we’ll have to make do with the tidbits of information the cast and crew shared on Twitter. One key point: The show’s gender balance is changing for the better.How Silicon Valley Is Really Like “Silicon Valley”The show follows a startup named Pied Piper through its battle with Hooli, a Google-like giant. It’s a David vs. Goliath battle of algorithms, and, although humorous, the show features a number of aspects of the tech industry that are all too real—including the fashion, the absurd aspects of startup marketing, and an obsession with jokes about male genitalia. The #AskSiliconValley Twitter chat was in part a marketing ploy by HBO to get fans to purchase the first season on Apple’s iTunes, but creator Mike Judge and actors Thomas Middleditch and Kumail Nanjiani shed some light on behind-the-scenes aspects of filming and what to expect in Season Two.Many viewers asked about the lack of women in the show, specifically in technical roles. This was a case of art mirroring life, as many big tech companies have revealed how skewed the gender ratios are in their workforces—but some hoped “Silicon Valley” could show a better vision for the industry.#AskSiliconValley Will there be a female coder joining the team in the next season?— Mark O’Sullivan (@MOS182) August 13, 2014So here is a bit of good news: According to Judge, two new female characters will be added to the cast. It’s unclear whether their roles will be technical. In the first season, women were mostly treated as disposable props or love interests for men—and every episode failed the Bechdel Test, a yardstick which measures movies and TV shows for meaningful female characters.@ChiMock2 Yes. We’re writing now and 2 new main female characters so far. #AskSiliconValley— Mike Judge (@MikeJudge) August 13, 2014Bay Area locals have noted the show’s visual faithfulness to the real Silicon Valley, a bland realm of suburban houses and office parks. That’s because the show filmed many exterior shots in northern California.@rnelli @kumailn Yes. A lot of the exteriors were shot there. #AskSiliconValley— Mike Judge (@MikeJudge) August 13, 2014Middleditch, the lead actor who plays awkward Pied Piper founder Richard on the show, dropped some hints about what people can expect from the upcoming season. One person suggested comedian John Hodgman should make an appearance as a relative of venture capitalist Peter Gregory. Middleditch hinted he might.@xactothefuture That would be rad. He’s a very smart and funny man. He’s also got glasses, so…do the math.— Thomas Middleditch (@Middleditch) August 13, 2014Maybe we’ll also see a glimpse of Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak. Perhaps not. Judge managed to give fans a tiny bit of hope while throwing some shade in Woz’s direction.@stephanwozniak The other guy might be a lot cheaper than you think. #AskSiliconValley— Mike Judge (@MikeJudge) August 13, 2014Nanjiani, the comedian who plays Dinesh, has some experience working as a programmer. He received a degree in computer science, and says his role on Silicon Valley playing a startup programmer is much more exciting than being an actual programmer.@iTunesTV Oh yeah. It’s payback for years of boredom & staring at screens I don’t understand. Take that!— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 13, 2014If you were disappointed that the first season of Silicon Valley only lasted eight episodes, you might be excited for this: Season Two will run for 10 episodes.@AarBearRAWR 10!— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 13, 2014Big Head, the friend of Richard who ditched Pied Piper in favor of a cushy gig at Internet giant Hooli, made a handful of cameos in the show after his startup departure. Fans of the deserter will be pleased to know that he will be back for season two.@Vince_Milazzo2 @iTunesTV @nottjmiller @Middleditch @MikeJudge @realalecberg yep!— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 13, 2014During the season finale, the Pied Piper team developed a particular method of stimulating … well, let’s just say data to get their pitch to fly at TechCrunch Disrupt. So how long did it take the team to film that one scene?@AlexiaErnest @MikeJudge @realalecberg @nottjmiller @Middleditch Took us 14 hours to shoot that scene.— Kumail Nanjiani (@kumailn) August 13, 2014If you haven’t seen the show yet, you have plenty of time to catch up before its April 2015 return. And we’ll be recapping every episode on ReadWrite. 5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnoutcenter_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App selena larson 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People…last_img read more

Read More »

Boxer Rishu Mittal works as a maid. But she is not the only one

first_imgNational level boxer Rishu Mittal, who won the gold medal in 46kg category in Haryana state championships and represented the state in the recently concluded National Games in December, has been working as a maid.She has to do this in order to make ends meet after her mother died two years ago and continue her schooling.A student of Class X, Rishu lives with her brother in a shop.Watch video: But she is not the only woman who has been left in the lurch. Earlier Mail Today on April 21, 2013, had reported about similar cases which revealed the deplorable conditions of our sportspersons. Here is the look:1. Sita SahuSita SahuSport: AthleticsNow: Golgappa sellerFrom being a two-time bronze medal winner in the Athens Special Olympics in 2011 to selling gol gappas and papdi chaats, Sita Sahu’s tale echoes the story of several sportspersons who have faded into oblivion due to poverty.The 15-year old Olympian from the Rewa district of Madhya Pradesh has been forced to work at a shop owing to financial troubles. A bronze medal in 200 meter relay race and another in the 1,600 meter race was not enough to aid her family of six. Along with three of her siblings, Sita spends her time at home making the base for the chaats in their one-room house in Dhobia Tanki. In the evening, her brother Dharmendra Sahu carries boxes and utensils on a hand-cart to sell the gol gappas under a street light. The family on an average earns Rs.150-180 a day or even less.advertisement”I am unable to recall the last time I offered a glass of milk or fruits to my children,” said Kiran Sahu, the athlete’s mother, “I don’t even remember the last time my family had a complete meal. We have been forced to sell chaats as my husband cannot take on a physicallydemanding job. This is our only source of income and life has been going on like this for the past many years.”The state government is yet to offer any support to the family. “Poverty was never a deterrent to my aspirations to earn for my family, though the lack of support or empathy occasionally does demoralise me; even the government has not helped us, ” she added. According to Sita’s coach Sajid Masood, there were announcements of cash prizes for Sita from the state government “but nothing came her way despite several reminders”.Sita’s brother Dharmendra had even approached Social Justice Minister Gopal Bhargava about the announcement he has made in front of the contingent after Sita was awarded the medals. “The Minister had announced that those winning gold medal will be given `1 lakh cash reward, silver medal winners will get Rs.50,000 and while bronze winners were to get `25,000,” claimed Dharmendra, “the government has failed to fulfill its promise. It will be great, if they could at least give us some space near the lamp post,” he added.By Anup Dutta in Bhopal—-2. Shanti DeviShanti DeviSport: KabaddiNow: Vegetable sellerShanti Devi, the 40-year-old former player of Bihar kabaddi team is now selling vegetables at the Sonari Aerodrome Market at Jamshedpur to feed her three sons and a daughter.Shanti Devi, who represented Bihar in the 30th, 31st and 32nd National Kabaddi Championship in the 1980s, said, “Our inadequate income has forced us to discontinue school for the children, while two of my sons work”. Stating that she had represented the undivided Bihar team more than 30 times in various championships, Shanti Devi regretted that she was ignored.”But any government could have offered me a job,” Shanti said. She went on to win the 31st and 32nd National Kabaddi Championship in 1982 and 1983 at Jamshedpur and Amravati respectively. She won the silver medal in Guwahati National Kabaddi League and bronze in All India Women National Kabaddi Championship.She also won the Bihar Kabaddi Federation Championship. She said she had kept aside her medals as did not want her children to take up the game. “I have never encouraged them, as I don’t want them to face the same frustration.3. Nauri MunduNauri MunduSport: HockeyNow: TeacherOwing to financial issues, 33year-old Nauri Mundu gave up the dream of being a hockey player five years ago. Mundu, who’s from Jharkhand’s Khunti district, has represented the national team 19 times. Today, Mundu teaches in the Mahil School, a private school run by a non-governmental organisation called SINI. Besides teaching, Mundu has also been forced to do farming because the Rs.5,000 she earns from her teaching job is not enough to feed her family of 14.advertisementMundu stated her career in 1995 by winning Nehru Hockey Tournament. In 1995, she was awarded the best hockey player ward by former chief minister of Bihar Lalu Prasad Yadav and in 1996 she won bronze in Nehru Girls Hockey Tournament and National Women’s Games. In 1997 she won silver in the 43rd National Senior Games Championship and 15th Bihar State Hockey Women’s Championship.With many more awards in in between, she also she won the Jharkhand Women’s Hockey Association Award in 2008 “I have put my best foot forward, but I soon realised that without adequate funds I won’t be able to support my family,” she said, “I would have continued if I had been helped by the government, much like it does with cricket players. I moved pillar to post but without any respite.”4. Nisha Rani DuttNisha Rani DuttSport: ArcheryNow: JoblessThe 21-year-old archer Nisha Rani Dutt from Pathmada village in Jharkhand had to leave the sport two years ago after she realised she had to help out her family. Dutt, who won the best archer’s award in Taiwan, participated in the Asian Grand Prix, won the best player award in Sikkim and bagged another silver at the South Asian Championship held at Jamshedpur in 2008.She participated in the Bangkok Grand Prix in 2008 and won a bronze in the team event, besides coming out with flying colours at a tournament in Taiwan. “It was difficult for me to continue the game and support my poor parents. In 2005, I joined Tata Archery Academy and remained there till 2008. Though I earned a monthly stipend of Rs.500 to 600, it was not sufficient.”When asked about her family, Dutt said “My father, who’s a farmer, sometimes doesn’t even have enough money buy seeds,” she adds, “To meet my family’s needs, I went to Bangalore in 2008 and stayed with Mittal Champions Trust and earned `3,000. But now for the past two years I am in Jharkhand doing nothing.”Dutt remembers how she was forced to sell her priced possession – a set of Korean bow and arrows worth `4 lakh for just Rs.50,000 for the maintenance of their worn-out mud house. Things Dutt, hopes, are about to improve. “I prepared myself to face the banking exams. I passed the interview too and was taken in by PNB with a salary of Rs.11,000.”By Saiful Haque in Ranchi—5. S.SanthiS.SanthiSport: AthleticsNow: Brick Kiln LabourerEarning laurels for her country has neither given due recognition nor changed life for the better, as S Santhi , the silver medalist at the Doha Asian Games, still struggles to find a foothold. Santhi failed a gender test that followed the women’s 800 mt event.Worse was to follow as she worked in a brick kiln in Tamil Nadu’s Katthakurichi village to support the family of six. The journey from penury to Doha has not taken her anywhere but brought the girl back to be a daily wagelabourer who earns a meager Rs.200 a day. Her persistent efforts might land her in Patiala to get trained as a coach. She is hopeful about getting admission to the Sports Authority of India Institute soon.advertisementDespite the results of the gender test, former chief minister M Karunanidhi had extended a cash award of Rs.15 lakh. With that, the family purchased agricultural land but with rain playing truant, the land lies fallow. Santhi’s plight attracted media attention ahead of the London Olympics and brought some succor with public sector giant GAIL promising Rs1 lakh to meet the immediate expenses. “Only a fellow athlete could understand the trauma of another.Track and field queen, Ashwini Nachappa, who has also acted in movies, spoke to me for over five minutes and asked for my resume. I still believe she is interested in getting me some job,” says Santhi.By M.C. Rajan in Chennailast_img

Read More »