SAI Drops Deaf Athlete Drops from World Championship

Just when the entire nation was celebrating the spectacular achievements of Indian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020, a Tamil Nadu-based female athlete was dropped from participating at the 4th Worl

The entire nation is celebrating the spectacular achievements of Indian athletes at the Tokyo Olympics 2020.

However, Sameeha Barwin a Deaf girl (18) from Kanyakumari district in Tamil Nadu who is a long jump and 100-metre track athlete was dropped from participating at the 4th World Deaf Athletics Championship in Poland by the Sports Authority of India (SAI). The championship will be held on 23 August and 28 August. 

According to reports, the reason SAI did not send her to the championship in Poland was because she is a girl. Shocking right? Sameeha is 90% Deaf. Sameeha was just 6-years-old when she was diagnosed with a terrible fever which led to her becoming Deaf but it could not stop her interest in sports. Instead, she started participating in district and state-level long jump and high jump competitions and went on to win plenty of competitions for the Deaf.

She has bagged gold medals at three national athletic championships for Deaf athletes held in Jharkhand in 2017, Chennai in 2018, and Kozhikode in 2019. On July 16, 2021, the All India Sports Council for the Deaf (AISCD) announced national selection trials for the 4th World Deaf Athletics Championships in Poland. 

Along with Sameeha, five other athletes from Tamil Nadu and overall 12 athletes participated in the qualifying round. 5 Men qualified for the Poland Championships but in women, Sameeha was the only one to qualify. 

But still the SAI dropped her name and have decided not to send her. The decision has shocked Sameeha and her parents.Salamath, Sameeha's mother said, “The authorities have decided not to take my daughter to the competition as she is the only one from India who has qualified in the women's category. They said they can't send one girl along to Poland with 5 boys. The SAI has also said that she couldn't be sent due to shortage of funds. Kanyakumari MP V Vijayakumar has also written to Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur asking him to include Sameeha in the list of participants for the world championship. The MP also gave an assurance to sponsor Barwin’s trip, but there has been no response to the letter. Reportedly, the team representing India is set to leave for Poland on August 14.