Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju had asked the Sports Authority of India (SAI) to look into appointing differently-abled coaches to train athletes with speech and hearing impairments. Rijiju was responding to a suggestion made by the All India Sports Council for Deaf (AISCD) during a virtual meeting on Thursday.
A SAI official told IANS that Rijiju agreed in principle to the suggestion. He further asked SAI officials to look into the logistics of hiring a coach. The official however said that the ensuing lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic and a number of factors means that process could take at least six months to go through.
Members of 15 National Sports Federations were also present in the videoconference which was the second round of meetings that the the minister is having with presidents and secretary generals of NSFs around the country.
In the earlier meeting, Rijiju had asked the representatives of the NSFs if it was feasible for them to reduce the salaries of foreign coaches. The suggestion was not agreed to by the officials in the meeting.
"As an Indian, I understand that we need money for better purposes. (But) we can't lose a good talent. We didn't say anything about it at the time but this is my personal opinion," Boxing Federation of India Secretary General Jay Kowli had told IANS on Wednesday.
"Given a choice I would like to pay them in full. They have been staying away from their families in India. They must be more worried than all of us considering the situation also in the country. They chose to stay back despite all of it."