Posted On Friday, August 17, 2012 at 08:27:11 AM
Vijay Kumar’s surprise silver medal-winning effort has not only earned him adulation from across the country but also the Army, his employers. Yesterday, the Olympian was promoted as a Subedar Major with a commitment that the Army will provide all help for further promotion as an officer in the force.
“This commission (to the grade of officer) has to be granted by the President and certain rules have to be followed. We will provide all help to him as he is very capable ... he talks in English and is very educated and has the capabilities to become an officer.
India’s Olympic medallists were felicitated yesterday by the Sports Ministry. (Clockwise from top) Bronze medallist shooter Gagan Narang clicks badminton player Saina Nehwal’s picture while shooter Vijay Kumar (left), boxer MC Mary Kom (second from left), wrestlers Yogeshwar Dutt (second from right) and Sushil Kumar (right) look on; Mary Kom with a young swimmer; Sushil Kumar, Vijay Kumar and Mary Kom share a light moment; Sushil Kumar (left) and Yogeshwar Dutt during a parade in the capital. (Below) Army Chief Gen Bikram Singh (right) promoting Vijay Kumar to the rank of Subedar Major
We will further strengthen his capabilities to make him a commissioned officer,” Army Chief Gen. Bikram Singh said. Addressing the gathering, he said as per the existing policy, two promotions have been given to the ace shooter.
Meanwhile, Vijay Kumar said he felt that “justice has been done” to him with the cash award of Rs 30 lakh and promotion to Subedar Major.
“I can say yes. For the last four years I was waiting for my incentives. This promotion was due last year. Now, I have got it. Now, I can say yes,” he said, when asked if justice has been done to him.
Vijay Kumar, however, denied that he had ever said anything about quitting the Army. “I have not said that I will leave the Army.
It was the work of some media person who had misquoted me. I had just said that if the Central government has provision for promotions, then the Defence Ministry should do so,” he said.
The Olympian said, “There were certain things due to me which have now been given. The Army Chief has assured me that he will take steps to give me a commissioned rank and action will start in a few days.”
On the allegation that Army personnel produced fake certificates of participation in the National Games for promotion, Gen Singh said, “I am going into it.
Let me assure you that if anyone is found doing anything wrong, they will not be spared. We are going to institute measures for having checks and balances to prevent these things.”
Want medal to inspire: Gagan
Shooter Gagan Narang plans to take his prized medal on a countrywide tour to inspire the next generation. “I want my medal to travel across the country so that it inspires the coming generation,” Narang said yesterday.
The ace marksman, who clinched a bronze in the 10m air rifle event, in fact, wants his medal to be touched by the country’s 1.2 billion people.
“I was coming back by bus after winning the medal. I saw the Olympics’ motto — Inspire A Generation — and that’s when I thought about it. Olympics belongs to the country, and I want to inspire,” the 29-year-old shooter from Hyderabad said.
It is by now a well documented fact that the Narangs had to sell off a plot of land years ago to help their son buy a rifle.
Chaos at Felicitation
The felicitation function was marred by utter chaos due to mismanagement by the Sports Ministry leading to a stampede-like situation. The function held at an open area outside the hockey stadium turned into complete chaos when hundreds of fans, mainly school children, turned up and tried to reach the dais to have a glimpse of their heroes.
All hell broke loose when the medal winners were presented cash awards with hordes of people trying to get a vantage position leading to trampling on other Olympians who were sitting on chairs under the sweltering heat.
“We were shouting at the top of our voice asking people to sit down but it was all in vain. So many athletes left the venue in disgust.,” Wrestling Federation of India President, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh.