Barely a week after the strike by the men’s team was resolved, another revolt is brewing in Indian hockey with the women’s team on Thursday rejecting the incentives promised to them and demanded a treatment similar to one offered to their male counterparts.
Hockey India decided to immediately reward Rs. 50,000 to each player in the ongoing national camp in Bhopal after the eves resorted to a silent protest against the non-payment of their dues by wearing black armbands during the training session.
But national captain Mamta Kharb said they were not happy with the “step-motherly” treatment meted out to them by the national federation as their pending finacial dues amounts to more than Rs. three lakh per player.
“We are not satisfied with what has been promised to us, so we will not accept the money offered by Hockey India. We want equal to what the men’s team have been promised,” Kharb told PTI from Bhopal.
“We have written to Hockey India listing our demands, and conveyed to them that we will not accept the Rs 50,000 amount offered to each player.
“Our pending incentives amounts to Rs. three lakh per player, and we want that money,” she added.
Kharb also said that her colleagues want a gradation system just like the one promised to the men’s team in order to secure the future of the women players, who come from a relatively poor background.
The Indian skipper, however, made it clear that they won’t resort to any pressure tactics by going on strike unlike their male counterparts and would carry on practice under protest.
“We won’t stop training come what may. But we are hopeful that Hockey India will consider our justified demands, and solve our problem as soon as possible. We also don’t like to do all these things, but we were compelled to take the step keeping in mind our future,” Kharab said.
Sensing the gravity of the situation, HI interim president Vidya Stokes earlier on Thursday told reporters that the national body has decided to give away an immediate reward of Rs. 50,000 each to all the 19 national campers in Bhopal.
She also said that apart from the Rs. 50,000, HI has requested the government to give each player Rs. one lakh for their silver medal winning performance in last year’s Asia Cup in Bangkok.
“We have requested the Sports Ministry to give each player Rs. one lakh as reward for their silver medal in Asia Cup,” Stokes said.
“But as of now, we (HI) are immediately giving Rs. 50,000 each for the 19 players of the camp for their outstanding performance last year,” she added.