Thursday, August 18, 2022

Vice President blows whistle on NOA

The Nagaland Olympic Association (NOA) was formed many years back but the official functioning started only after it was affiliated to the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) through the efforts of our present chief minister Neiphiu Rio who is also the president of NOA. The first and only Nagaland Olympic games and sports were held at Chümuokedima with almost all the disciplines in 2018 in which all the districts participated. Our association advanced a lot of money to the various associations so that they can prepare their teams to participate during the event.
After the meet, most of the associations accounted their expenditure and submitted their expenditures/statements. It is disheartening to know that till December 2020 when new office bearers were elected, a few individuals did not submit their expenditure statements in spite of several reminders. In the meantime, I as the treasurer, had requested several times for an audit to be carried out but there was no response from the association.
On the day when the new office bearers were elected on 11th December 2020, a paper supposed to be the audit, was brought to me for signature which I did sign. I may state that the individuals who took about INR 70/80 lakhs for the said Olympic meet in 2018 did not give their accounts until then while I don’t know if they have submitted to the new treasurer. I work with transparency and so I wanted an audit to be carried out but that was never done. I sent several messages in our Whatsapp group but nobody responded. I am proud to say that I was nominated as a co-opted member when NOA was first formed being headed by Lanu Toy. I started representing Nagaland in 1967 to Subroto Cup Delhi and we brought home the runners-up trophy.
Throughout my college days, I played for my college and local clubs, besides representing Nagaland Civil Services to Shillong and Kashmir. I also played for my university and state while I represented India to Turkey at the Badminton World Federation in September 2013. I am also a member of various clubs and associations.
Therefore, I know the inns and outs of sports and its managements. Unfortunately what I find in this highest body of sports is that all its activities and decisions are being taken by one or a few individuals. The other members are kept in the dark. No collective decisions are taken or ever informed but only do so after decisions are taken. NOA appears to be working by a dictator. Why officials are elected at all if their voice is not to be heard?
NOA logo was also circulated on Whatsapp on 9th March, 2022 when we didn’t even know who proposed or approved. This was not brought to the notice of the members. Is it not autocratic? Our president is a very busy person man but atleast meetings can be held among the office bearers and minutes could have been put up to the president. The Nagaland Sports Policy was reviewed by the department of Youth and Sports in 2018 after the department selected a few sportsmen from various fields and after a lot of discussions and consultations, we submitted the draft for approval. It is learnt that the same is still pending with whichever authority. Should we not have this policy ready in hand so that the sportsmen and women are aware of the rewards and incentives? Simply asking out boys and girls to do well in sports is not enough without any incentives. Why would they want to do well when there is no incentive at all? And yet we all say do well for our state.
On 11th December 2020 when the last NOA annual general meeting was held, we were told that the office of the association would be housed in one of the minister’s bungalow and that rooms will be added for the other associations also.
Suddenly a new NOA building had come up and we find this magnificent building. How many of the NOA office bearers knew of this? I am not the only one. A friend wanted to file an RTI on this and asked me about the previous owner of the building, the cost of the building etc etc. It was very embarrassing for me but I requested him not to do so since it’s to be a sports building. But then we had never discussed about buying this building, we don’t even know the cost of the building, etc.etc.
There again, someone had dreamed it up and took action by himself or themselves. Nagaland Police Sports Battalion is another issue which was never discussed in any of the forums. I am not against it but rather in the manner this issue had gone around. For reasons mentioned above if the NOA is to function as an individual property, I for one will disassociate myself from it, not that it’s going to make any difference but I like to work and associate myself where there is transparency for all and everyone is taken on board to ensure that a collective decision was taken unlike the present system.
K.Kire IPS(Retd), vice president of NOA & former DGP of Nagaland

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