Babita Phogat, Kavita Devi appointed as Haryana sports deputy directors
Commonwealth Games medalist Babita Phogat and Kabaddi player Kavita Devi have been appointed as deputy directors in the Sports and Youth Affairs Department of Haryana. The announcement was through two separate orders issued on July 29 by the principal secretary of the Haryana Government's Sports and Youth Affairs Department.
Babita Phogat said that being a player, she will work to ensure that players get all the facilities they need, whether it is related to their practice or diet so that they can focus on their game and work.
Speaking on working with Sports Minister Sandeep Singh, former Indian hockey team captain, she said that it is an advantage to have a sportsperson heading the state’s Sports Department.
• Babita Phogat and Kavita Devi will have to join their department within a month. They had applied for these posts under the state government.
• The two sportpersons have been appointed as deputy director (Sports) under the Haryana Outstanding Sportspersons (Recruitment and Conditions of Service) rules, 2018.
• Phogat had earlier served as a sub-inspector in Haryana Police. She resigned in 2019 when she joined politics and later went on to unsuccessfully contest the 2019 assembly polls from Dadri assembly constituency in the state.
• Babita has won three successive Commonwealth Games medals including gold in 2014 and silver each in 2010 and 2018. She also won a bronze medal in the World Championship held in 2012 and represented the country in the 2016 Rio Olympics.
• Kavita Devi was a member of the India national Kabaddi team that won the gold medal after beating Iran at the 2014 Asian Games in Incheon, South Korea.
• She is also a five-time international medalist and a 17-time medalist for Haryana at the national level. She had to wait for more than six years to get the job, and fight a two-year-long court battle.
• Under the appointment’s terms and conditions, the sportpersons have been barred from making commercial endorsements.
The appointment comes two years after Kavita Devi and Babita Phogat moved the Punjab and Haryana High Court over not being given ‘A’ category posts as per the state’s sports policy. Phogat had withdrawn her petition when she had joined the Bharatiya Janata Party in 2019 and competed in the Haryana state assembly elections.