Malika Handa is a hearing-impaired chess player from Jalandhar. Recently, she has claimed that the Punjab government did not fulfill their promise of a cash award after she won medals at international competitions.
Till now, she has won the gold medal at the World Deaf Chess Championship and a silver medal at the Asian Championship in 2017, and in September last year, she was promised a cash award of Rs 11 lakh by then sports minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi.
The case has been taken up with the sports and youth services minister and said that he would issue her a sports gradation ‘C’ category certificate, after which she can apply for many jobs.
There is a 5% reservation for the sports quota, in which she is allowed to apply for jobs in the four percent reservation which is for specially-abled persons. Another one percent is reserved for women athletes.
Even after four months, she hasn’t received the prize money which was promised to her by the state government.
On Sunday, Malika had tweeted a post on 31st December, where she met current Punjab sports minister Pargat Singh, In which she was told that she couldn’t give her a job and cash awards as they do not have a policy for deaf sportspersons.
On Twitter, she posted a video of herself in which she said, “I’m feeling hurt,” expressing her anger and showing her medals and awards.
She also added, “I am only asking why it was announced. They fooled me… not caring about deaf persons’ sports. Why is the Punjab government doing this?”
While her mother, Renu Handa, expressed her anger while speaking to The Indian Express. “We were assured of a cash reward by multiple government officials, but are still waiting for it.”
After reading her post on Twitter, Telangana Information Technology minister KT Rama Rao promised to support Malika. As he retweeted her post and wrote, “Please pass on the young champion’s details if you can. I will contribute in my personal capacity.”