Sudha Singh given promotion by employer Indian Railways

Sudha Singh, the steeplechaser, and Kuldeep Singh, the national wrestling coach, are beneficiaries of a new liberalised policy adopted by Indian Railways, their employer.

Sudha Singh won the silver medal at the Asian Games held earlier this year in Indonesia.   -  AFP

Sudha Singh, the steeplechaser, and Kuldeep Singh, the national wrestling coach, have been given promotions by Indian Railways, their employer, as part of a ‘liberalised’ policy to encourage athletes and their mentors.

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The liberalised policy, first announced at the felicitation ceremony for the Commonwealth Games 2018 medal winners, provides for out-of-turn promotion to coaches in officer grade whose wards win medals at the Olympics, Asian Games or the Commonwealth Games. Athletes become eligible for such elevation if they represent India in at least two Olympic Games.

Sakshi Malik (right) is one of Kuldeep Singh's (left) high-profile wards. Photo: PTI

 

“Amongst the first beneficiary of the policy is Kuldeep Singh, the chief coach of the Indian women wrestling team, whose orders for promotion to the Gazetted post of Assistant Commercial Manager have been issued in Northern Railway,” the Railways Sports Promotion Board (RSPB) said in a statement on Wednesday. Kuldeep’s wards in Indian wrestling include Olympic bronze-medallist Sakshi Malik and Asian Games gold-medallist Vinesh Phogat, among others. Both Malik and Phogat are also Railway employees.

Encouraging step

“Sudha Singh, double Olympian athlete of Indian Railways has also been granted promotion to officer grade in Indian Railways in terms of this new policy,” the Railways stated.

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Sudha had clinched a silver medal at the Asian Games this year; in the 2010 edition at Guangzhou, she had won a gold. The 32-year-old, who hails from Raebareli in Uttar Pradesh, had been demanding a job in the State government’s sports department. “It is felt that such proactive steps would not only encourage the sportspersons and coaches to do better but will also go a long way in taking the Indian sports to new high,” the RSPB statement read.

One of the largest employers in Indian sports, Railways has in the past lost top athletes like Vijender Singh due to its strict promotion policy.