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SAI seeks top athletes' help to mentor youngsters.

Plans to appoint psychologists at all centres

THE tragic suicide attempts of four young athletes, that led to death of one, have prompted the Sports Authority of India ( SAI) to upgrade its existing system so that such incidents do not happen in future.

SAI director general Injeti Srinivas, who was directed by sports minister Sarbananda Sonowal to visit the SAI centre in Alappuzha, Kerala, to assess situation, returned to the Capital on Saturday.

Srinivas did not rule out the possibility of foulplay but said after interacting with various people there, including other athletes at the centre, he was unable to find whether the girls were harassed or not.

" This is a case where multiple agencies, including Police and Human Rights Commission, are investigating. I cannot preempt these investigations and judicial process," Srinivas said on Saturday. " I have enquired the SAI warden and spoken to other inmates at the centre but they did not say anything about it ( alleged harassment by seniors). I also visited the boys' hostel and spoke to them and they could not figure out what could have gone wrong.

All my enquiries reveal that they could not find the reason ( of suicide)," he added.

SAI has already announced a compensation of ` 5 lakh to the parents of the deceased girl and has offered a job to them on contract basis at a SAI centre.

In fact, the SAI is seeking help from senior athletes to mentor the young athletes in handling such situations and has also decided to appoint psychologists for athletes at various centres. " We are planning a system where former top sportspersons mentor the young athletes by adopting SAI centres depending on their location at the vicinity," said the SAI director general.

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Publication:Mail Today (New Delhi, India)
Date:May 10, 2015
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