Monday, August 21, 2006

Some hope in Beenamol's struggle to own house

One of India's greatest woman athletes, K.M. Beenamol, finally has some hope of owning a piece of land to build a house after being assured of the same by the state sports minister Sunday.

She has been running from pillar to post for the past two years for a land that is supposedly gifted to her by the Kerala government.

The athlete, along with her husband, met M. Vijayakumar at his residence and the minister assured them that the matter would be sorted out within two weeks.

'I have come to know about this issue for the first time so please give me two weeks time to sort it out,' Vijayakumar reportedly told the athlete.

However, Beenamol seemed happy that her two-year wait was finally bringing results. 'I can now wait for two weeks more,' she remarked.

Ace middle distance runner Beenamol, who excelled in 400 m, 800 m and 4X 400 m, has won two Asian Games gold and one silver medals (both in Busan, 2002) and was a finalist in the 4X400 m in the 2004 Athens Olympics.

She is also the recipient of the Padma Shri, Arjuna Award and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award.

It was almost two years back that the athlete and her husband first approached the state government.

While former chief minister Oommen Chandy could not do anything for the ace athlete who is now retired and works as an officer on special duty with the Indian Railways and stays in a railway apartment here, the V.S. Achuthanandan government also seems to be sitting on their file.

Reports indicate that the weekly cabinet meeting held Aug 16 cleared it, but the chief minister later decided that the land be given to build a memorial in the name of a late Malayali film actor and identify another land for Beenamol.

Vijayakumar said that he was not aware of what transpired on the already allotted land and added it would be improper to comment on it.


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