Report by Pratap Pradhan; Bhubaneswar: Odisha Sports & Youth Services Minister Chandra Sarathi Behera today boosted the morale of sports journalists of the state by assuring them a media centre at Kalinga Stadium here and accreditation to sports journalists, beginning with recipients of Biju Patnaik Award.
The assurance came when members of Odisha Sports Journalists’ Association (OSJA), headed by their president K Ravi, called on the Sports Minister at the State Secretariat and handed over a memorandum, requesting to allot a government quarter for setting up of the office of OSJA, the media centre at Kalinga Stadium and the accreditation facility.
Accompanied by their working-president Sandeep Mishra, vice-president Suresh Swain, secretary Sanatan Pani and member Jagdiswar Das, the OSJA delegates congratulated the Sports Minister for the successful hosting of the 22nd Asian Athletics Championships here at Kalinga Stadium last month. While apprising him about the role played by OSJA in promoting sports, the sports scribes put forth their long-standing grievances in the meeting.
The Sports Minister was very considerate in his response and assured to make the proposed media center ready before the start of the Men’s Hockey World League Finals in December. While agreeing that the Biju Patnaik Award winning sports journalists should get government accreditation, the Sports Minister said his Department would resolve the issue by coordinating with the I & PR Department. He also assured to act as facilitator for allotment of a quarter to OSJA.
When the OSJA delegation drew his attention to the discontent caused by the selection process and sharing of this year’s Biju Patnaik Sport Journalist Award, the Minister clarified that the selection had been done by the jury committee and the government did not interfere in the process.