Indian Tennis

Age fraud allegations rock junior National Tennis Championships

On Monday, the opening day of the Under-14 and Under 16 Championships, a group of parents filed a petition with the AITA secretary said.

Allegations of age fraud have rocked the ongoing junior national tennis championships. More than 50 “demoralised” parents submitting a petition with the All India Tennis Association demanding the imposition of strict guidelines to check the menace.

On Monday, the opening day of the Under-14 and Under 16 national championships, a group of parents filed a petition for the AITA to make the complaint official.

Signed by the 53 parents, the petition accused the federation of conveniently ignoring the age manipulation issue by not even acknowledging the mails of the concerned parents.

The petition does not specify any player but pleaded with the federation that parents and kids feel demoralised and demotivated and are even giving up the sport.

“We expect some concrete action to put an end to this menace within the next few days,” the petition read. “The least AITA can do is adopt rules formulated by Badminton Association of India (BAI) to tackle the menace of age cheating.”

AITA general secretary Hironmoy Chatterjee acknowledged that such a practice was prevalent and they will soon come up with a solution.

“There indeed is a problem, we are aware,” he was quoted as saying. “We have an executive committee meeting in Kolkata and this issue will be discussed. We will come up with a mechanism which is acceptable to all.”

Asked why AITA was silent for so many years despite being aware of the issue, Chatterjee said it was not the case.

“We had introduced the system of age verification for all participants at Nationals via medical Tests in Chennai in the mid ’90s. It was gradually sorted out but again there are many complaints, so we will eradicate it,” he said.

Documents only source of verification

The AITA while registering a player go by the official documents such as a birth certificate issued by a municipal corporation and a copy of the passport.

In case the passport is not available, a bonafide certificate from a school has to be submitted.

An AITA official who requested anonymity as he wasn’t authorised to speak with the media told PTI that there was no mechanism to check the veracity of the documents at the time of registration and renewal (after two years).

“How do you counter such official documents?” said the official. “But we try to do due diligence on our part. If there is any doubt, we immediately demand the original documents from the applicants to check if they have sent us a tampered copy. AITA can’t be blamed for this.”

Suhaan Karkal, whose son Vardan is competing this year at the Nationals, said the non-deserving players end up grabbing the scholarships and other benefits while the genuine kids do not get a fair chance to prove their talent.

“If a 14-year-old is playing against a 17-year-old, who stand better chance to win? It should be looked into. It’s very demoralising,” he said.

Iqbal Qureshi, whose son is also competing at the Nationals, said medical tests should be made mandatory for all participants.

“Sports is a career now,” Qureshi told PTI from Mumbai. “We are investing a lot of money and time to make our kids good players. If they get beaten by an unfair manner, the parents and kids will loose interest and it’s not good for the sport.”

It has also been learnt that AITA had sent out a document to a number of parents in February asking for feedback but has not done anything about it.

“Yes, we had received a document from AITA but what have they done,” asked a parent, who did not wish to be named.

“There was also an over-age case involving an Under-12 player and documents, gathered after investigation proved that Siddhi Khandelwal, the winner of the National championship had fudged age. All the AITA did was move her from U-12 to U-14 category. Is it a good deterrent?” the parent questioned.

We welcome your comments at letters@scroll.in.
Sponsored Content BY 

When house hunting is as easy as shopping for groceries

The supermarket experience comes to a sector where you least expected it.

The woes of a house hunter in India are many. The dreary process starts with circling classifieds in newspapers and collecting shiny brochures. You flip through the proposed and ready designs that launch a hundred daydreams on the spot. So far so good. But, every house hunter would attest to the soul-crushing experience of checking out a disappointing property.

The kitchen of a 2BHK is carved from the corner of the hall, the 3BHK is a converted 2BHK, the building looks much older than in the pictures…. after months of reading the fine line, and between the lines, you feel like all the diagrams and highlights seem to blur into each other.

After much mental stress, if you do manage to zero in on a decent property, there’s a whole new world of knowledge to be navigated - home loans to be sifted through, taxes to be sorted and a finance degree to be earned for understanding it all.

Do you wish a real estate platform would address all your woes? Like a supermarket, where your every need (and want) is catered to? Imagine all your property choices nicely lined up and arranged with neat labels and offers. Imagine being able to compare all your choices side by side. Imagine viewing verfied listings and knowing what you see is what you get. Imagine having other buyers and experts guiding you along every step while you make one of the most important investments in your life. Imagine...

MagicBricks has made every Indian house hunters’ daydream of a simplified real estate supermarket a reality. Now you have more than a pile of brochures at your disposal as the online real estate marketplace brings you lakhs of choices to your fingertips. Instead of bookmarking pages, you can narrow down your choices by area, budget, house type etc. Just so you aren’t hit by FOMO, you can always add a suburb you’ve been eyeing or an extra bedroom to your filter. But there’s more to a house than just floor space. On MagicBricks, you can check for good schools in the vicinity, a park for evening walks or at least an assured easier commute. Save time and energy by vetting properties based on the specs, pictures and floor plans uploaded and have all your niggling concerns addressed on the users’ forum.

Shortlisted a property? Great! No need to descend down another spiral of anxiety. Get help from reliable experts on MagicBricks on matters of legalities, home loans, investment, property worth etc. You can even avail their astrology and Vastu services to ensure an auspicious start to life in your new home or office. With its entire gamut of offerings, MagicBricks has indeed brought the supermarket experience to real estate in India, as this fun video shows below.

Play

Get started with a simplified experience of buying, renting and selling property on MagicBricks here.

This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of MagicBricks and not by the Scroll editorial team.