GUWAHATI, May 11 � The newly formed Clean Sports India (CSI), which was set up four years back in New Delhi with an aim to clean up the sports organisations at the national and State level, has launched its Assam Chapter in a meeting held at the Guwahati Press Club today. The meeting was attended by around 60 sportspersons and sports organisers of the State. The meeting has formed the 24-member body with Arjuna Bhugeswar Baruah as president, Maguram Balari, Chandrakamal Bhagawati and Tayabun Nisha as vice presidents. Mukut Medhi and Sarifulla have been appointed as convenor and treasurer respectively.
Addressing a press conference after the meeting, the CSI�s national convenor BVP Rao said that the organisation is gaining ground at the national level and due to their pressure on the Central Government all the scandals of the 2010 Commonwealth Games have surfaced. Terming the Games as the darkest part of the Indian sports, Rao said, in Assam also lots of irregularities have been prevailing in almost all the State level sports associations.
Taking a jibe on State Ministers Rockybul Hussain and Himanta Biswa Sarma, Rao said, both the ministers are holding about dozens of positions in State associations although they hardly have time to devote for the development of sports in Assam. He said, earlier Assam was in forefront as far as producing table tennis and badminton players was concerned. But now Assam are back benchers in both the events.
Rao, who was the Sports Secretary of Assam in the mid 90s, deplored the fact that, although so many Ministers, MPs and MLAs are heading the Assam sports associations, they have totally failed in fulfilling their commitment to promote sports in the State.
He also revealed that, despite being powerful ministers of the State Government, both Hussain and Sarma have failed to increase the sports budget. Rao said when he was the Sports Secretary the State sports budget was only Rs 2 crore. But during his tenure it was enhanced to Rs 10 crore. He was shocked that the present annual sports budget is only Rs 13 crore out of which Rs 10 crore is earmarked for salary. �How can Assam improve in sports with such a meagre budget?, he asked.
President Bhogeswar Baruah expressed his concern over the deplorable conditions of the infrastructure built during the 2007 National Games. He also said the equipment purchased for the National Games spending crores of rupees are gathering dust and rust. Baruah urged the authority to distribute all the equipment to the districts so that the youngsters can make good use of those.
The Arjuna Award winning athlete also claimed that the office bearers of the Assam Olympic Association are hardly serious in developing sports in Assam. Baruah further said that at present the coaches don�t have any activity and they are sitting idle. He also urged the State Government to activate State Sports Council of Assam which earlier produced several talented sportspersons.
The CSI State body also demanded resignation of Rockybul Hussain as president of State athletic body and form a new committee by holding election.