IOA recommends medical insurance, pension scheme for all Olympians

CHENNAI: The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has proposed medical health insurance and pension scheme for Olympians and made a recommendation in this regard to its Executive Committee. IOA president PT Usha spoke about the move while felicitating legendary Indian athlete Gurbachan Singh Randhawa on the occasion of International Olympic Day at his residence here on Sunday. The proposal is expected to come up for discussion soon.

The IOA will solely cover all these expenses from its coffers. “The IOA is taking many athlete-centric steps and one of these is medical insurance and pension for all our Olympians,” Usha told a news agency. She said the idea struck her after she met ailing Olympian Limba Ram, who has suffered a brain stroke and approached the IOA on a wheelchair for financial assistance. “I was really moved when I saw Limba Ram on a wheelchair in the IOA office struggling for financial assistance. That moment the idea came to my mind,” she said.

Randhawa, who won a gold medal in decathlon in 1962 Asian Games and participated in two Olympics, appreciated the IOA chief’s efforts but requested her to do more for the well-being of veteran Olympians. “Sportspersons’ spouses don’t get pension after their death so please pitch for that, that is necessary. I hope the government spends 10-15 per cent under CGHS on former athletes. Financial assistance for old athletes should be there.”

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