Govt to give pension to award-winning sportspersons

New Delhi: With several members supporting a demand for pension scheme for award-winning sportspersons, government on Saturday said in Lok Sabha that it will take steps to formulate a policy in this regard.
Leader of the Opposition Sushma Swaraj raised the issue of former athlete Makhan Singh, whose widow is willing to auction his medals for money to make her both ends meet.
Swaraj said while Bollywood movie 'Bhag Milkha Bhag' was encouraging, after watching a programme on the plight of the family members of Arjun awardee Makhan Singh, she felt very perturbed.
"He is the one who defeated another legend Milkha Singh …his wife said I have no 'roti' to eat…she is willing to auction his medals for money," Swaraj said in Zero Hour.
She said Makhan was never interested in his children becoming sportsperson as it has failed to earn him anything.
"The Sports Ministry should help not just Makhan Singh, but several other sportspersons. There should be a policy on awardees so that they and their families get pension," she said.
Supporting her demand, several members, including Congress President Sonia Gandhi thumped their desk.
After Haren Pathak (BJP) demanded a response from the government on Swaraj's demand, Gandhi was seen prompting Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kamal Nath to speak.
Nath said the government will take steps to formulate a policy in this regard.
He also said sports federation of oil PSUs have decided to extend immediate relief to the family of Makhan Singh.