DSO's conduct is not ignorant, it's criminal

Updated: Oct 23, 2019, 08:28 IST | The Editorial | Mumbai

The DSO needs to stop holding tourneys at all, till they get their act together

Zoha Mansuri, who got injured at athletics meet at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground in Kandivli
Zoha Mansuri, who got injured at athletics meet at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground in Kandivli

On Friday last week, during the District Sports Office's (DSO) athletics meet at the Sports Authority of India (SAI) ground in Kandivli, a 15-year-old sprinter was grievously injured when a discus (weighing around 2kg) thrown by a discus thrower hit her on the head while she was finishing the U-17 100-m dash. She collapsed on the track and began bleeding profusely from the head. Fortunately, the teenager survived. This shocking incident was reported on the front page of this paper on October 22.

To compound matters, there was no first aid available. There was no doctor on site, no ambulance and no ice to apply on the injury. The girl's mother had to cover her head with her dupatta to stop the bleeding.

There are serious questions which need answers. First of all, why did officials allow the sprint event to happen alongside the field event of discus throw? They should have been held at separate times keeping in mind such a contingency. This is absolute, basic scheduling to keep athletes out of danger. It is fundamental to running any tournament.

The DSO needs to stop holding tourneys at all, till they get their act together. You simply cannot hold a competition and have no medical facility on hand. This is not negligence, this is not ignorance. It is simply and purely, criminal. The injury could have been fatal.

The DSO comes under the purview of the Maharashtra government's Ministry of School Education, Sports, and Youth Welfare. The state's Sports Minister, Ashish Shelar, needs to step in to ensure that competitions get the green light only if all medical amenities are available. This is a wake-up call for everybody who organises sports competitions. We tout international success, but at grass roots level, the situation continues to be abysmal.

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