Yoga Nationals aspirants stage protest

Irfan Rashid

Srinagar, Jan 27: Accusing the officials of unfairly dropping their names from the state Yoga team, aspirants ‘selected’ for representing J&K in the 60th National Yoga Championship Tuesday staged a protest demonstration at Press Enclave here.
The protestors said they were selected before last year’s floods after having qualified in inter-school, inter-district and state-level competitions “but were again called to pass the eligibility criteria which we did successfully”. However, they said they were surprised to find that their names have been dropped from the final list.
The National event is set to be held in Maharashtra from January 28 to 31.
The team selected earlier comprised majority of members (18) from Kashmir and only five from Jammu province. The protesting candidates alleged that it was due to this reason that the whole team has been dropped now. “They (officials want to accommodate the blue eyed candidates”, they alleged.
“We were waiting to play nationals for last one year, but now we are very sad as the list has been cancelled,” said Aqib, 13, a student of Fayaz Educational institute (FEI).
“These small kids practiced with zeal and zest all year, even in cold winter, but  they are very upset now,” said coach, Shabir Ahmad. He said many of these candidates had earlier won awards in state level competitions.
This team also included girls from Kashmir who would have represented Kashmir in Yoga, which is very rare. “I was hopeful to play nationals and even had my eye on international events,” said Sabrina, 15, from Kothi bagh Higher Secondary.
Parents of the aspiring candidates also protests alongside them. “My 6 year old daughter can perform any difficult posture and it is surprising that she has also been dropped,” said a protesting woman.
The aspirants and their parents urged Governor N N Vohra to investigate the matter and punish the guilty officials.


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