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Elite sport stars to be roped in as SAI mentors?

Last updated on: May 13, 2015 14:29 IST

"Psychology counsellors may be engaged to counsel the trainees so that they can come out of the emotional trauma. Particular care would be taken to ensure psychological and emotional rehabilitation of the three girls who have survived the suicide attempt."

Anju Bobby GeorgeRattled by the suicide attempt of four young athletes in Kerala, the Sports Ministry is set to revamp SAI centres across the country and could request "iconic sportspersons to act as trainee mentors" as part of a series of changes it seeks to bring about.

- Ragging ruled out as cause for suicide attempt at SAI centre

-'Urgent need to strengthen the SAI training system'

In a heartbreaking turn of events last week, a 15-year-old rower, Aparna Ramambhadran, died while three of her colleagues continue battle for their lives after they attempted suicide at the Sports Authority of India Centre in Kerala, prompting a stunned ministry to launch an inquiry.

All four atheletes undergoing training at Water Sports Centre of SAI in Alappuzha, were hospitalised after they ate a poisonous fruit in an apparent suicide pact owing to alleged harassment by seniors.

"We may request iconic sportspersons to adopt SAI centres and act as SAI trainee mentors. This will not only inspire young SAI trainees but also enable them to emulate the qualities of their role model," Union Minister Rajiv Pratap Rudy, speaking on behalf of Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, said in the Lok Sabha in a suo moto statement.

As part of the revamp, the Ministry has recommended the involvement of counsellors to help the trainees. An Assistant Director of SAI will be stationed at Alappuzha until normalcy is restored, Rudy said.

"Psychology counsellors may be engaged to counsel the trainees so that they can come out of the emotional trauma. Particular care would be taken to ensure psychological and emotional rehabilitation of the three girls who have survived the suicide attempt."

The girls are suspected to have consumed the local fruit Othalanga, inside the SAI women's hostel.

They were rushed to a hospital after they fainted and were later taken to Alappuzha Medical College. Relatives alleged that the girls were being physically and mentally tortured by some seniors.

- One dead as four SAI women athletes attempt suicide

- Suicide incident: SAI will not rule out 'foul play'

Deceased SAI athlete had told her mother about harassment by seniors

"The mothers of girl trainees may be allowed to stay in the hostel for a week or so until the situation normalises. The trainees who are keen to take a short break may be allowed to be taken home by their parents provided their presence is not required for the ongoing investigations,” Rudy said.

He further added, "Engagement of counseling psychologists in all SAI training Centres for the purpose of group counselling as well as one-on-one counselling. This is considered most essential for the emotional well-being of the trainees. Yoga may be introduced as a compulsory activity in all SAI centres, as it would have a salutary effect on holistic development and emotional well-being of SAI trainees. Part-time Yoga instructors may be engaged for this purpose.”

"AIIMS to develop a two-day module on sports psychology for SAI trainees, which would be extremely useful for them."

Rudy also stated that “Hostels should be constructed by using pre-fabricated technology and all the inmates should be shifted within the shortest possible time to the premises of SAI centre”.

Image: Anju Bobby George (Image used for representational purposes)

Photograph: Getty Images

 

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