Top sprinter Hima Das and some other athletes have complained about the low quality of food being served to them at the Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports (NS-NIS) in Patiala, Punjab. Das and others have a complaint that they are being served poor-quality food at the institute’s mess since mid-August.
It is learnt that the Sports Authority of India (SAI) has acknowledged the matter and has formed a ‘Food Inspection Committee’ to address the grievances of the athletes. Sources claim that the 20-year old also informed the Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju about this matter. As a result, Rijiju instructed the concerned SAI authorities to resolve the issue as soon as possible.
SAI immediately reacted on this and told that a detailed Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) has been put in place to check the quality of supply of raw material.
“Some athletes raised an issue about the food quality at the mess at NS NIS, Patiala in mid-August. As soon as it was brought to our notice, immediate corrective action was taken to ensure that even one-off issues of this nature are not faced by the athletes. A review meeting was held with officials, staff and players on the same day. We issued clear instructions to ensure that the quality of food is as per the requirement of the athletes. The latest feedback from athletes confirms that the quality of food is as per their liking and requirement,” read the SAI statement to an English daily.
“As per policy, SAI has set up a Food Inspection Committee and is also strengthening the kitchen staff at NIS. A food helpline number has also been set up to order food items of athletes’ choice,” it concluded.