Out of favour in the outback | Cover Story | Times Crest
Popular on Times Crest
  • In This Section
  • Entire Website
  • Mission admission
    July 13, 2013
    The news of a member stumping up over a crore for entry to Mumbai’s Breach Candy club only proves that the allure of private clubs still holds…
  • High on gloss, low on airs
    July 13, 2013
    As older establishments close their doors, premium clubs offering state-of-the-art facilities and personalised service open for upwardly mobile…
  • A rare mix
    July 13, 2013
    Getting membership into this 118-year-old club - once the estate of the deposed Tipu Sultan exiled to Calcutta - is no easy task.
More in this Section
Leaving tiger watching to raise rice Ecologist Debal Deb, who did his post-doctoral research from IISc in…
The crorepati writer He's the man who gives Big B his lines. RD Tailang, the writer of KBC.
Chennai-Toronto express Review Raja is a Canadian enthusiast whose quirky video reviews of Tamil…
Don't parrot, perform Maestro Buddhadev Dasgupta will hold a masterclass on ragas.
A man's man Shivananda Khan spent his life speaking up for men who have sex with men.
Bhowmick and the first family of Indian football At first glance, it would be the craziest set-up in professional football.
From Times Blogs
The end of Detroit
Jobs in Detroit's car factories are moving to India.
Chidanand Rajghatta
How I love the word ‘dobaara’...
Can ‘bindaas’ or ‘jhakaas’ survive transliteration?
Shobhaa De
Anand marte nahin...
India's first superstar died almost a lonely life.
Robin Roy

Out of favour in the outback


For Indian athletes hailing from the hinterland, the stakes are very high.

The fall from glory in their home towns will be tough for the tainted athletes.

Ashwini Akkunji Chidananda, Mandeep Kaur and Sini Jose, the glory girls of Indian athletics who journeyed from remote moffusil pockets to international podiums, today find themselves stranded in a discredited corner, likely to lose their role model status in their home towns.

Arjun Devaiah, star sprinter and Asian medallist, from Ponampet village in Kodagu district, says these athletes are likely to lose their standing in their local communities. Devaiah, a qualified lawyer, has seen the small-town mindset at close quarters and believes that the athletes are going to have a tough time explaining their taint to folks back home. The former athlete who has done his Masters in industrial relations and personnel management, spends much of his time giving motivational speeches in professional colleges.

Devaiah believes that small-town India looks at its big achievers with the kind of unforgiving awe it reserves for movie stars. "But you can either be a villain or a hero. When these girls brought gold and glory they were heroes, now that they carry a taint, they will simply be seen as fallen heroes. Parents will now think twice before allowing their daughters to take up athletics. They don't analyse, debate or think a situation through in these places, they just don't want to know the why and what of it. "

Noted sports psychologist Chaithanya Sridhar, who worked with the Indian athletics squad at the Busan Asian Games in 2002, says that since the issue is now out in the open, it is important for society to step back and take a look at the full picture. She believes that it is important to put in perspective the relationship between athletes and their coaches.

"Athletes are very close to their coaches, more so when they're from remote areas. Over the years, because of the time they spend with one another, a coach becomes the only family they actually know. Most of them will do anything the coach tells them to do, " she says.

Devaiah is optimistic about the future of these athletes. He believes that once they emerge from this cloud, they can regain lost ground with some mentoring. "Even if someone like Ashwini gets banned for two years, she's so gifted that I would say that she can come back a couple of years from now, stronger than ever, " he says, adding, "She just needs someone to guide her through the storm. It is not the end of the world and these girls need to be told that. Tomorrow is a new day. "

Other Times Group news sites
The Times of India | The Economic Times
इकनॉमिक टाइम्स | ઈકોનોમિક ટાઈમ્સ
Mumbai Mirror | Times Now
Indiatimes | नवभारत टाइम्स
महाराष्ट्र टाइम्स
Living and entertainment
Timescity | iDiva | Bollywood | Zoom
| Technoholik | MensXP.com


itimes | Dating & Chat | Email
Hot on the Web
Book print ads | Online shopping | Business solutions | Book domains | Web hosting
Business email | Free SMS | Free email | Website design | CRM | Tenders | Remit
Cheap air tickets | Matrimonial | Ringtones | Astrology | Jobs | Property | Buy car
Online Deals
About us | Advertise with us | Terms of Use and Grievance Redressal Policy | Privacy policy | Feedback
Copyright© 2010 Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd. All rights reserved. For reprint rights: Times Syndication Service