Srinagar: For five years, a leading athlete from Kashmir, Insha Wadoo, waited to participate in the prestigious All India Inter-University Athletics event. But when that moment finally arrived for the two-time national champion, Kashmir University marred her career.
Last year, a rigorous selection procedure during an inter-college tournament held in the Valley chose athletes for the inter-university event to be held at Chennai in January 2017. The Kashmir University’s physical education department, however, circulated a “false” schedule of the Chennai event.
The 22-year-old Insha has an outstanding distinction of bagging gold medals and top positions throughout her 12-year career. During her three-year bachelor’s degree at Srinagar’s Women’s College at MA Road, she was adjudged the best athlete.
Currently doing a bachelor’s in physical education at Ganderbal, she alleged that the physical education department’s assistant director Nadeem Ahmad told her on January 2 that she would have to leave for Chennai on January 11.
“Accordingly, I packed my belongings. On January 8, I came across the event schedule on the website. It showed the event will begin on January 11. I called Nadeem sir,” Insha told Kashmir Reader. Nadeem, however, refuted the allegations of issuing a false fixture and instead blamed the delayed date of travel on bad weather.
Flanked by her coach Khurshid Ahmad, the gold medallist from Srinagar’s Rainawari area approached the varsity’s higher-ups the next day.
“I was told I am not entitled to air travel. I raised the issue of false fixture issued by the KU officials and the physical education department accepted their fault,” she said.
Participation in the Chennai event would have made the award-winning athlete qualify for the National Institute of Sports, where one can train as a coach.
According to Insha, she approached the vice-chancellor’s office but did not receive a positive response. Vice-chancellor Prof Khurshid Andrabi said he had not come across the issue.
Director of Physical Education department Nisar Ahmad said that Insha along with another student met the special secretary to the vice-chancellor apprising him about the issue.
“But we don’t know what happened later. The students did not return to us,” he said.
Insha said that Nisar Ahmed instead of helping her blamed her for carelessness. You will have to pay for air travel yourself, Nisar told her, she said.
The daughter of a cab driver, Insha said she was willing to pay from her own pocket to join the event. “But the KU officials were not ready to send anyone along with us,” she said.
Vice-chancellor Andrabi said he would have helped the athletes if they had met him. But the damage that has been caused to the athlete cannot be now undone.