Coronavirus lockdown deepens Archery association staff’s salary woes

With the coronavirus lockdown creeping in, every plan has come to a halt, leaving Archery Association of India with no funds to pay their staff.

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As the new regime under newly-elected president Arjun Munda came at the helm Archery Association of India, it also inherited the empty treasury and staff salary issues from its predecessor that came with Sports ministry de-recognition and World Archery ban.

The federation, however, was looking confident of gaining back recognition as in an Annual General Meeting the official decided on gradually falling in line with the national sports code, which was blatantly flouted by earlier regime despite repeated warning by the world bodies; finally leading to de-recognition. Once World Archery lifted the ban provisionally, federation was hopeful of gaining back affiliation soon and the sports ministry funding under NSFs that follows with it.

However with the COVID-19 lockdown creeping in, every plan has come to a halt, leaving AAI with no funds to pay their staff. Mail Today also reported that how sports ministry has been in a state of inertia as it has yet to send NSFs the process of granting annual recognition this year.

For non-member AAI future is looking further bleak as they are yet to receive money this year from their primary sponsor, a public sector company.

“The pandemic has made things tough for us. It slowed down the recognition process. Our funds, which we got through our sponsors last year, were mostly exhausted after the elections but we were able to pay few months salary with the remaining amount. It will be difficult to pay our staff in coming months if the situation prevails,” a senior AAI official told Mail Today.

However, the situation doesn’t affect Indian archers’s funding in their preparations for the 2021 Tokyo Olympics as Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju made it clear before there will be no hindrance in archers’ training when the federation turmoil was at its worse under the previous regime.

The paper also reported earlier that while AAI don’t think they will be able to start a camp anytime soon, their current focus is on setting up a training camp for a list of 16 recurve and para archers once the lockdown ends. While they have zeroed in on two locations, namely Tata Archery Academy in Jamshedpur and SAI facilities in Sonepat, the feasibility of reaching elite archers to the camp remains a headache for the federation.

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