Malika Handa : Punjab Govt Ignores Deaf Chess Champion
General
Sep 6, 2021

Deaf World Champion in Chess, Malika Handa, put out a tweet a couple of days back alleging that the Punjab Sports Ministry has denied giving her a government job or cash reward despite all that she ha

The Deaf World Champion in Chess, Malika Handa, put out a tweet on 2nd September, which has gone viral. The video had more than 1 lakh views and thousands of likes. The video was taken outside the office of DPS Kharbanda. In the video she said, “I am very feeling Hurt and crying. Today I met the Director ministry sports Punjab. He said punjab can not give job and  cash awards except to (Deaf sports). What shall I do now that all my future is ruined???” The Bridge reached out to Malika Handa's mother, Renu Handa, to understand what transpired that day which forced the 26-year-old to tweet such an emotional video. Her mother said, "First things first, Malika did not go there uninvited. She was called by the Sports Ministry to come, and she was promised a job. But when she went there she was told straight on her face that she will not be given any job or cash rewards because she plays in the Deaf category. They said they do not have the policy to give jobs under sports quota to deaf players. 

We have been approaching the government regarding this matter for since long, and the Sports Minister himself has promised to give Malika a job, but the promise has not been fulfilled. In fact, some people who do not have as many medals as my daughter have recently been provided jobs. This made her excited, and the response she got from the Ministry has left her heartbroken. It is very clear that they do not wish to encourage chess in the state. Other sports are flourishing, no doubt, but how many good chess players has Punjab produced? Malika had recently applied for the Maharaja Ranjit Singh award and she was ignored for that as well, while athletes in other sports who have not achieved as much were honoured. She was ignored just because she plays chess. We have approached the government as well but there has been no response.” Breaking down, her mother says, “It was probably our fault that we let her take up chess. We should have forced her into some other sport. It has reached a point where now Malika does not want us to spend money on her game. She tells us it is about time that she will be married, and we should focus our energies there instead of her game. She tells us she will continue playing only if the government supports her. I do not know how she will survive without chess.” This is not the first time Malika Handa has requested the Punjab Government for help. She has done this before as well. To learn more about her struggles, you can watch this video.

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