Below is the email communication sent to
(a) Paralympic Committee of India with copies marked to:
- (b) Wheelchair Basketball Federation of India
- (c) ICRC Representative who regularly works within the Wheelchair Basketball ecosystem in India
- (d) Sports Secretary’s Office, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports
The Paralympic Committee of India,
New Delhi/ Bangalore, India
CC: WBFI, Angel Singhal, ICRC, New Delhi, Sport Secretary, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports (New Delhi).
I request PCI and ICRC to refer to all the previous communications that I have initiated with them.
As a disability sport professional from India, over the last few years, I have strongly encouraged over forty Indians to engage with WBFI. So I take this responsibility of also explaining that WBFI’s governance and administration confuses me. If this is my position as a researcher, imagine the plight of disenfranchised citizens like persons with disabilities.
While trying to research Adapted Physical Activity and related organizations in India, I am disappointed to see so much absence of information to its ‘members’ [WBFI’s website does not provide any information on the organization’s (a) Bye laws; (b) Annual Reports; (c) Partnership agreements; and (d) Role of sponsors. This information is to be made publicly available for newcomers in the sport to get an understanding a new ecosystem (i.e., Wheelchair Basketball as an organized and competitive sport is very ‘new’ to the Indian citizenry)].
In my attempts to understand how WBFI functions in India, I have communicated with ICRC. ICRC in their response to me has failed to recognise WBFI as a direct partner (I have failed to see WBFI mentioned in any of ICRC’s Annual Reports). In my communication with PCI, I have been told that WBFI has been affiliated to PCI for around five years. From PCI I have not received a date from when WBFI has been affiliated to PCI.
As a researcher connecting the dots, I have identified that WBFI is not directly answerable to any of the organizations in India. (WBFI’s membership with PCI is as an independent sport federation). While I have email communications from my records that clearly indicate ICRC to be a constant event support partner for WBFI (at least from 2015), I am unable to find any official documentation ascertaining the same.
I have also met and communicated with many Indians who have been clueless about their membership status with WBFI despite several follow up attempts. While lack of clarity is the tip of the ice berg, I am putting together all my findings in a technical report to MYAS. Meanwhile, I am requesting for all involved parties (especially PCI, WBFI, ICRC) to make an attempt to streamline WBFI’s processes, explain their financial transactions (for maintaining transparency) and to focus on developing a long-term strategic plan for developing sport in the country. This will ultimately help advance the good work of so many coaches and athletes because of whom WBFI is possible today.
Looking forward to some clarity on this topic in the future,
Copies of this email were also sent to over forty Indians who have been directly/indirectly working with WBFI. Many of them being disability rights activists in India.
Error: I have misspelt Ms. Angel Singha’s last name as Singhal. Apologies for the same.