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Updated: September 28, 2012 11:22 IST

Sportsman in dire straits

Satish G. T.
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R. Chetan with his medals. Photo: Prakash Hassan
R. Chetan with his medals. Photo: Prakash Hassan

R. Chetan, who won gold in badminton at the World Dwarf Games in 2009, has been advised not to continue playing after he underwent surgery

For R. Chetan of Hassan, who won gold in badminton at the World Dwarf Games in 2009, sports career has ended. He has lost hopes of taking part in Paralympic Games and winning a medal like Paralympics silver medalist H.N. Girisha, native of Hassan, has done. Following a surgery, Mr. Chetan has been advised not to play badminton.

“Doctors have advised us not to allow him play for a few years”, said Chethan’s father Ramashetty, a Revenue Inspector working at Hirisave in Channarayapatna taluk.

After winning gold in Ireland, Mr. Chetan was selected to take part in another international sports meet for dwarfs in China in 2010. When he was all set to leave, he consulted a doctor for his back ache. The doctor recommended an surgery as one of his veins was on the verge of rupture. “He was disappointed to miss the event. He underwent the surgery and it was an end to his career”, he said.

Chethan (23), second year student pursuing Masters in Commerce at the NDRK College in Hassan. Being a dwarf, he had a tough time building his career in sports. However, he had a passion for playing badminton since the time he was in ninth standard. “Earlier, I used to take part in athletics, would take part in 100 metre and 200 metre events. Later, I developed interest in badminton and continued with that”, Mr. Chethan said.

Mr. Chetan was trained under Ramesh Tikaram, a coach in Bangalore, and represented many national and international events. He won the gold in men’s dwarf badminton singles at the World Dwarf Games in Belfast in 2009.

For his journey to Ireland, the State government paid him only Rs. 25,000 while his family spent about Rs. 1.25 lakh for his trip. “Chetan won the gold medal in Belfast. The event was equivalent to Paralympics. I am proud about my son’s victory. The government gave another Rs. 25,000 after his return. I paid for his trip from my savings”, Mr. Ramashetti said.

B.S. Yeddyurappa, during his tenure as a Chief Minister, had felicitated Mr. Chethan at the inauguration of the Ganigara Sangha’s auditorium in Shimoga on May 17, 2010. After the felicitation, Mr. Yeddyurappa had announced that his government would release Rs. 1 lakh to Mr. Chetan in recognition of his achievement in Belfast. “It has been more than three years since he made the assurance. Not a rupee has been released. I spent a few thousand rupees to travel to Bangalore many times to appeal for release of the promised money. But there has been no response to my pleas”, Mr. Ramashetti said. Now, Mr. Chethan has lost hopes of playing badminton again. “I feel like going for practice, but my parents insist that I should not. I don’t know when I will be alright. My father is retiring in seven months. I wish the State government offers me a job considering my achievement in sports”, Mr. Chethan said.

Mr. Ramashetti, father of three children, said that his son deserved a job as he had won gold at an international event.

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