MLAs keep distributing the sports good in their constituencies to keep the sports enthusiasts happy and to maintain the spirit of sports man, as you never know who will become next Sachin or Maradona. The people from their respective constituencies keep blessing their MLAs for supporting the local youths in their sports activities, but do you know from where these goods come from? According to the news published by the TOI Goa edition the MLAs get their sports good stock from SAG (Sports Authority of Goa) and that too free of cost.
“The next time you visit your local MLA and ask for sports equipment, don’t be surprised if he pulls out a stash of volleyballs, footballs or even cricket bats from his store room straightway”. Says the TOI author Marcus Mergulhao in the news published on 24th July edition. “Don’t feel guilty while accepting the ‘gifts’ from your MLA. He is not paying for it; in fact it’s bought from your own money”. He further adds.
According to the information provided in the local daily each of the 40 MLAs collects the sports goods from the SAG regardless of how rich and poor they are and the same is supposedly passed on to their constituents. Prior to the 2012 assembly polls the Goa MLAs were entitled to pick up the sports equipments worth Rs. 1.60 Lakhs in two installments each year which subsequently enhanced to Rs. 2.50 Lakhs after Manohar Parrikar took over as the CM of Goa and all the local MLAs seen picking up their shares from the sports shop for the amount allotted to them and bills subsequently been honored by the SAG. Nobody wanted to give up their rights to avail this SAG scheme which is in existence for almost 15 years. The former CM of Goa and present Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has religiously picked up his quota of sports goods from Angleys and Champs while the SAG settled their bills.
Event the super rich and famous heavyweight MLA of Taleigao constituency Antanasio Monserrate (Babush) who suppose to be very lavish in spending for his constituency at every given opportunity did not miss the opportunity of collecting the free sports goods at the cost of government exchequer. This list also includes the wife of Babush, Jenifer Monseratte, Poriem MLA Pratapsingh Rane and his son Vishwajit Rane were among those who also availed this SAG allotted facility.
What the MLAs pick up is fairly common, at least officially on records maintained by the SAG. The stuff they, or rather their constituents, crave for, includes over a hundred-odd footballs and volleyballs, volleyball nets, football nets, cricket bats (approximately 40), tennis balls, badminton racquets, badminton nets, shuttlecocks, four dozen cricket balls, cricket mats and stumps.
According to the reports the MLAs either opted for their share themselves or through their appointed representatives who would pick up the goods of their choices and the same were accounted by the shopkeepers in proper manner. The MPs also did not left behind in this race, the north Goa MP Shripad Naik, former south Goa MP Francisco Sardinha and Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik all of them sent their representatives to SAG to load their vehicles with the sports goods.
Government implements several schemes to promote the local talents, sports activities, educational schemes and several other schemes. How many of these schemes do reach to their real beneficiaries, still remains the issue of controversy. But in normal circumstances it is very difficult to keep track of such things. In some of the cases people are not even aware of the schemes floated by the government for their benefits as the information do not reach to them. How many of you are aware of the fact that the scheme of free sports equipments run by the government for the benefit of constituents for past 15 years? How many actually got benefited last 15 years? Please do leave your valuable comments and suggestions on this issue at the end of this article.
Source: TOI original article written by Marcus Mergulhao