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'Urgent need to strengthen the SAI training system'

May 13, 2015 13:55 IST

Noting that several external probes are currently underway -- including police investigation -- preliminary inquiry conducted by the district administration, inquiry by State Sports Secretary and inquiry by State Human Rights Commission, "hence it would not be appropriate to make any specific comment in this regard."

Locals protest at the SAI centre in Alappuzha

Locals protest at the SAI centre in Alappuzha. Photograph: PTI

Terming the attempted suicide by four athletes at the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Special Area Games Water Sports Centre in Alappuzha last week 'tragic', the government, on Thursday, assured the Lower House that urgent action would be taken to prevent such happenings in the future.

In the incident, which happened at the SAI’s Special Area Games Water Sports Centre in Alappuzha, one athlete died and three others are undergoing medical treatment.

The incident shows the urgent need to strengthen SAI's training system and government was looking into the recommendations made by SAI Director General who enquired the matter, Minister of State for Sports Sarbananda Sonowal told the Lok Sabha in a statement.

"The shocking and tragic incident that occurred at SAG Water Sports Centre, Alappuzha does point out an urgent need to strengthen the SAI training system," the statement, read out by his ministerial colleague Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said.

Noting that several external probes are currently underway -- including police investigation -- preliminary inquiry conducted by the district administration, inquiry by State Sports Secretary and inquiry by State Human Rights Commission, "hence it would not be appropriate to make any specific comment in this regard."

After probing the incident, SAI's DG has made many suggestions like having a "robust institutional mechanism" to maintain close rapport and co-ordination with state sports department.

Another suggestion was to set up an expert committee to study the authority's existing training system, which should submit a report along with recommendations within two months, the statement said.

"We would examine these suggestions and take necessary action at the earliest to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future," it said.

Of the four girls who attempted suicide by consuming a poisonous local fruit Othalanga, 15-year-old Aparna Ramabhadran died while three others are undergoing treatment.

"A team of doctors at AIIMS expressed satisfaction over the treatment procedure adopted by the Alappuzha Government Medical College, but suggested certain modifications in the treatment management, which was duly followed," it noted.

The AIIMS Director set up a medical board to provide necessary advice and support for the treatment of the surviving girls.

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