Disability rights activists, Para sports persons and archers from different parts of the world are expected to take part in an online protest on May 18, over a recent tiff between archery coach Kishor A.M. and the Kerala State Archery Association.
Kishor, a Paralympic archery champion, claims that he was denied the opportunity to earn a decent living by providing private archery coaching, due to unwanted interference of the Archery Association. Kishor, who has represented the state and the country in national and international archery competitions, has been holding private coaching classes across the state for some time, in his own academy as well as in private sports schools. Recently, he joined a private coaching school in Edappally, Ernakulam District and sought the support of Kerala Archery Association for the same. However, despite initial approval, the archery association filed a complaint with the District Sports Council that Kishor was not qualified for the job. The Physical Education Director was alerted and Kishor was denied the opportunity to continue with the archery camp.
“If it was a government run camp or training, my qualification would have been a matter of concern. But this was a private session and me being a national medallist, the participants knew how qualified I was for the job”, Kishor said, questioning the Archery Association’s move.
The Archery Association had maintained that Kishor had not participated in any competition under its banner and hence could not support him. However, Kishor questioned the logic on grounds that Paralympic archery was brought under the Association only after 2015, while he had been a contestant in archery before 2015, when the event was managed by Para Archery Association.
The Physically Challenged All Sports Association Kerala, founded by Kishor, had organised a national level online protest on Wednesday against denying opportunity to a differently abled person. He has forwarded his complaint to the State Disability Council, State Sports Council, State Sports Secretary and the Chief Disability Commissioner besides the State Human Rights Commission.