Other Sports

IOA Champions New Benefits: Medical Insurance And Pensions For All Ex-Olympians

PT Usha proposed the recommendations to the IOA's Executive Committee which will come up for discussion soon

PT Usha

The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) is set to bring in medical health insurance and pension scheme for all former Olympians, the top sports body's president PT Usha said on Sunday. (More Sports News)

Usha has proposed the recommendations to the IOA's Executive Committee which will come up for discussion soon.

The IOA will solely cover all these expenses from its coffers and the idea came to Usha's mind after she witnessed the plight of Indian archer Limba Ram.

"The IOA is taking many athlete-centric steps and one of these is medical insurance and pension for all our ex-Olympians," Usha told PTI while felicitating legendary Indian athlete Gurbachan Singh Randhwa on the occasion of International Olympic Day at his residence here.

"We have submitted the proposal to all EC members for all ex-Olympians. It is a small help from IOA for all ex-Olympians. We should remember all our ex-Olympians," she added.

Usha 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, finishing fifth in 110m hurdles in at 1964 Tokyo Games, appreciated the IOA chief's efforts but requested her to do more for the well-being of veteran Olympians.

"Sports persons' spouses don't get pension after their death so please pitch for that, that is necessary. I hope the government spends 10 to 15 per cent under CGHS on former athletes. Financial assistance for old sportspersons should be there."