Controversy has increased in the country regarding wrestling. The players are right, or the federation, it will be known only after investigation, but controversies have been arising in wrestling.
Wrestling Federation in India and their players have come face to face. WFI (Wrestling Federation of India) President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has been accused of sexual harassment by several women players, including Vinesh Phogat, who became the first Indian woman wrestler to win two medals at the World Championships. However, the Speaker has denied these allegations outright and said that he is ready to face any punishment if anything is proved. At present, a seven-member committee constituted by the Indian Olympic Association following the intervention of the Sports Ministry will probe the allegations of sexual harassment against the WFI president. After which the sit-in demonstration by the players for the last two-three days has been ended.
If we look at the history of wrestling in India, it is being played since centuries. In ancient India, this game was known as Mallayuddha. Emperor Bali and Maharaja Sugriva have been called the most heroic Malla warriors in the Ramayana period. In the Mahabharata period, Balaram, Bhima, Duryodhana, Jarasandha, Karna etc. were some such great heroes, who were a challenge to defeat in wrestling. But at present the history of Indian wrestling has been written in golden letters due to many wrestlers like Gama Pehlwan, Dara Singh, Tiger Jeet Singh.
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sports budget of government of india
The central government is more conscious about sports than before. The sports budget for the year 2021-2022 was Rs 2757.02 crore, but in the year 2022-23 the sports budget was increased to Rs 3062.60 crore. That is, an increase of Rs 305.58 crore was made in the sports budget.
Under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS), customized training and facilities are provided for potential Olympic medal winners (men and women). On which a small part of the total budget is spent. A total of Rs 14.31 crore was spent on TOPS during the year 2018-19, Rs 12.41 crore in 2019-20, Rs 15.65 crore in 2020-21.
Challenges and controversies for wrestling in India
In the year 2008, Sushil Kumar ended the drought of wrestling yearning for a medal by winning a bronze medal in Beijing Olympics for 56 years. Since then, in every Olympics, one or the other wrestler has been winning a bronze or silver medal. Meanwhile, the corporate world took interest in wrestling and competitions like Pro Wrestling League also started in India.
Players got financial help, along with private sponsors started training abroad. In which projects like Olympic Gold Quest (OGQ) of JSW Group and other companies have a big role.
On the other hand, the government promoted sportspersons under the TOPS scheme. Wrestlers continued to get encouragement from private sponsors when the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) announced in the year 2022 that private organizations can no longer help wrestlers without the permission of WFI. Only then there was a decrease in the facilities provided to the wrestlers. It was from here that the atmosphere of tension between the WFI and the players slowly started building up.
In the year 2022 itself, WFI made a big corporate like Tata Motors the national sponsor of wrestling. On the other hand, on the lines of BCCI, WFI contracted about 150 wrestlers in 2018 according to the grading system. Under which A grade wrestlers were to get Rs 30 lakh annually, but the wrestling federation stopped giving this money after 2-3 quarterly installments. Now the wrestlers neither had any sponsor nor WFI was giving them money. That’s why this anger is now visible in the form of a demonstration.
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Amid allegations against Wrestling Federation President Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh, wrestling player Vinesh Phogat alleged that coaches are harassing women and some of the federation’s favorite coaches misbehave with women coaches as well. Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh has sexually harassed many girls. They are exploiting us. On the other hand, Olympic medalist Bajrang Punia says that we want the federation to change. Wrestlers are being harassed by the Federation. Those sitting at the top of WFI have no idea about this game.
There is also a dispute over these rules made for wrestling
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- The Federation has made it mandatory for all players to appear in the Senior National event. Under this only 4 players can be selected from one weight category. Because of this, many players will not be able to participate in the event.
- Till now the players used to work according to the sponsor, but now the federation will also be involved in the sponsorship along with the players.
- The player who qualifies for the Olympics will not necessarily enter the arena. Actually, trials will be held before the Olympics and the players who get the quota will compete in it. If the player who wins the quota loses, he will get it again in 15 days.
- Also, now this rule has also been made that no state can send more than one team to the National. Most of the teams in the Olympics were sent from Haryana, Railways and Army. Whereas till now the maximum number of medals have been won by the wrestlers of Haryana.
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