Family of Khashaba Jadhav, winner of the first individual Olympic medal for India has put the medal up for auction be able to fund a world class wrestling academy that will be named after him.
The state had promised to fund the academy but failed to keep its promise. Khashaba Jadhav’s son, Ranjit Jadhav, reveals that in the year 2009, the then state sports minister Dilip Deshmukh had declared that a national-level wrestling academy named after the late Khashba Jadhav will be established by the government in Satara district but no initiatives have been taken even after 8 years of the announcement.
In 2013, an amount of Rs. 1.58 crore was sanctioned for the academy but never awarded. Jadhav’s family appears to be severely disappointed by the carelessness and delay from state’s end in recognizing his accomplishments. The Times of India quotes Ranjit Jadhav saying,
My father was an introvert and never marketed his achievements. He was alive till 1984 but the government didn’t felicitate him with an Arjuna Award, which came his way 16 years after his death. Why can’t we honour accomplished people when they are alive?
Earlier this week, a few media reports also claimed that Jadhav’s family had threatened the government with auctioning the medal and warned of a deadline of August 14, the 33rd death anniversary of Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav. If the government fails to fulfill its promise of the academy, then the family will go on a hunger strike.
Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav had won a bronze medal in the 1952 Helsinki Olympics and scripted history by becoming the first Indian to win an Olympic medal in an individual sport. Ever since then, it was his dream to create a world-class wrestling academy in Satara, the district he belonged to.
Apart from this, Khashaba’s family and fellow villagers are also displeased with the fact that government has not commemorated him with any of the Padma awards.
Now, displeased with the Maharashtra government’s failure to honor Khashaba Dadasaheb Jadhav, his family has decided to auction the medal to fund a wrestling academy named after him.