The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) has taken charge of all the activities of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) amidst allegations of sexual harassment against the former WFI chief, Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. The country’s top wrestlers, including Bajrang Punia, Sakshi Malik, and Vinesh Phogat, have been protesting for the last 22 days at Jantar Mantar, demanding justice for the alleged sexual harassment of women wrestlers. In response to their protests, the IOA has dissolved the current WFI office bearers and asked the secretary general to hand over official documents, including financial instruments, to its ad-hoc panel.
The First Step in the Wrestlers’ Fight for Justice
The protesting wrestlers on Sunday deemed the IOA’s decision to take charge of the WFI as the “first step” in their fight against Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh. According to Bajrang Punia, the Tokyo Olympics bronze medallist, “this (the dissolution of the current WFI) is the first step in our fight for justice. Our fight has begun in right earnest, it’s a victory for us… and we will continue our fight until we get justice.” The wrestlers’ protest is a step towards raising awareness and bringing justice to the alleged victims of sexual harassment.
Wrestlers Demand Support for the Dignity of Women
Asian Games gold medallist Vinesh Phogat expressed her disappointment that not a single ruling party parliamentarian had met the wrestlers to extend support in their fight for the dignity of women. She said that from Monday onwards, the wrestlers would give letters by hand or via e-mail to all women parliamentarians of the ruling party to come and support them. “When they talk about the safety of women in the country, then we too are their daughters and they should come out and support us,” she said. The wrestlers’ protest is not only about seeking justice but also about raising awareness about the need to support and empower women in sports.
IOA’s Ad-Hoc Committee to Elect New WFI Office Bearers
The IOA’s three-member ad-hoc committee has clarified that the process to elect new WFI office bearers will be completed within 45 days, and the charge will be handed back to the elected body. An official told PTI, “Once the elections will be held, the administrative powers will go back to the WFI. The newly elected officials will run the show. It’s just a temporary move that ad-hoc is managing the affairs of the federation.” The ad-hoc committee’s decision to elect new office bearers is a positive step towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the WFI’s operations.
The wrestlers’ protest is a powerful movement that seeks to bring justice to the alleged victims of sexual harassment in sports. The IOA’s decision to dissolve the current WFI office bearers and elect new officials is a positive step towards ensuring transparency and accountability in the federation’s operations. However, it is crucial that the government and the ruling party extend their support to the wrestlers in their fight for the dignity of women. The wrestlers’ protest serves as a reminder that every woman deserves to be respected, supported, and empowered in sports and beyond.
Source of this News: Economics Times
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