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Sarba promises better service for athletes

 NEW DELHI, Sept 12 (PTI): Taking cognisance of media reports and complaints lodged by athletes about unhygienic conditions and sub-standard food quality at training camps, Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal today promised better services to the sportspersons and asked his officials to work in this regard.

After media reports of inappropriate food quality and unhygienic catering at national training camp at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex here, the minister had set up a high level committee to look into the matter and submit a report. The committee was asked to give a detailed report of the conditions prevailing on the ground and submit their observations and suggestions within 24 hours. The committee members comprised of senior officials of he ministry and SAI and was led by Joint Secretary (Sports).

“All the members of the committee visited the Indira Gandhi Complex and personally went into the kitchen, the storage, the waste disposal and washing area to make note of the shortcomings. The committee members discussed the matter with athletes, coaches, nutritionist and the contractor who runs the mess,” the ministry said in a release.

“However, considering the hygiene and the food to be satisfactory, the inspecting committee members have listed down some suggestions to improve the present condition and ensure that better hygiene prevails in the kitchen and food quality is improved,” it said.

“Our utmost priority is to ensure that our athletes are in the best of their health. There will be no compromise on their food and healthcare. It is our duty to provide the athletes best of the facilities and support them in their relentless effort and hard work. All suggestions made by the inspection committee are being discussed and required measures will be implemented at the earliest,” Sonowal said in the release.

Some suggestions made by the committee include: food vendors to strictly follow Diet Chart prescribed by SAI nutritionist; entire hostel premises to be dis-infected by a pest control service provider on quarterly basis; camps as well as the hostel/mess facilities, including proper upkeep and hygiene, should be inspected by the senior officials once in a week; improvement in hygiene in the storage area, more racks to be provided.

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