Jalandhar-based deaf and dumb chess player, Malika Handa, who had won several medals in national and international events, said on Monday that the Punjab government has failed to live up to promises made to her.
In a series of tweets, Handa said, "I met Sports Minister Pargat Singh on December 31. He said that the state government cannot give me a job and a cash reward because they don't have a policy for deaf sports.""Former sports minister had announced a cash reward for me and I also have a letter of invitation in which I was invited but it was canceled due to Covid," she added.
I m very feeling Hurt
31 dec I met sports minister of Punjab @PargatSOfficial
Now He said punjab Govt can not give job and Not cash award accept to (Deaf sports) because they do not have policy for deaf sports.
— Malika Handa
Handa is the first Indian ever to win an International Deaf and Dumb Chess Championship gold, she has won multiple gold medals in the national championships. She has also been vocal about her disappointment with the Punjab government and has often sought help via Twitter.
In one of the tweets from September, Handa wrote, "I am hurt and feel like crying. I met the Sports Ministry director today and he said that the Punjab government cannot give job and cash award to deaf sportspersons. What shall I do now? My future is ruined."
Her mother, Renu Handa, too has been vocal about the mistreatment. While speaking to Asianet Newsable, she said, "We were assured of a cash reward by multiple government officials, but it has been five years now, and we are still waiting for it."
"Disabled athletes already face a lot of problems, yet they work hard to succeed. Under Amrinder Singh's government, she was also invited for a felicitation ceremony along with Neeraj Chopra. The event, however, was cancelled due to Covid and Malika is still waiting for the job and the cash award that was promised to her," Renu Handa added.