Pointing at one student's earring, he asks if she is wearing a real gold covering or imitation.

news Sports Saturday, March 05, 2016 - 21:56

For a government that has often encouraged athletes, comments made by Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Dr. Sundararaj’s at young women hockey players during an inspection at a school in Pudhukottai comes as sheer disappointment.

In the video, he asks a young athlete whether she has enough ‘banyans’ and gestures at her.

In a patronizing tone he questions each student and reminds them repeatedly of scholarship money that has been granted to the college.

Asking students if they know how much their shoes cost, their food costs, he asks one student if she had brought any medals. She says no, and he asks her “why she is being fed if she isn’t bringing medals.”

He further asks a student if she has physically matured since she had joined the hostel, to which she replies that she has and that her mother knows and her father doesn’t. On replying that her father does not, he asks if her mother and father are separated.

“You’ve put on weight no? We give you 250 rupees for food every day, and we give college students 200 rupees a month. You get more than them combined. I will only give money according to the food you eat.”

He asks another student what her mother does. “Stone quarrying, she gets 100 rupees every day,’ she says. “Don’t lie, how she can take care of your expenses with that little?” he replies insensitively.  Pointing at her earring, he asks if she is wearing a real gold covering or imitation.

His assistant is visibly embarrassed and sniggering uncomfortably while he goes as far to ask a student what she has eaten for lunch. “Should I check by opening your stomach?” after which he quickly moves to the next student. 

“You don’t look like someone who plays hockey, we have put in money like an international hockey team deserves. We’ve put in 7 crores for the sports quota.”

In one instance in the same video, the minister in an understanding tone tells a student that since her parents were struggling to pay for her education, she should remain focused.