New Delhi: Government Wednesday termed as "shocking and tragic" the recent incident at a water sports centre in Kerala where four young female athletes attempted suicide and asserted that urgent action would be taken to prevent such happenings in the future.
In the incident, which happened at the Sports Authority of India's (SAI) Special Area Games Water Sports Centre in Alappuzha last week, one athlete died and three others are serious and undergoing medical treatment.
The incident shows the urgent need to strengthen SAI's training system and government was looking into the recommendations made by SAI Director General who enquired the matter, Minister of State for Sports Sarbananda Sonowal told the Lok Sabha in a statement.
"The shocking and tragic incident that occurred at SAG Water Sports Centre, Alappuzha does point out an urgent need to strengthen the SAI training system," the statement, read out by his ministerial colleague Rajiv Pratap Rudy, said.
Noting that several external probes are currently underway including police investigation, preliminary enquiry conducted by the district administration, enquiry by State Sports Secretary and enquiry by State Human Rights Commission, it said "hence it would not be appropriate to make any specific comment in this regard."
After probing the incident, SAI's DG has made many suggestions like having a "robust institutional mechanism" to maintain close rapport and co-ordination with state sports department.
Another suggestion was to set up an expert committee to study the authority's existing training system, which should submit a report along with recommendations within two months, the statement said.
"We would examine these suggestions and take necessary action at the earliest to ensure that such incidents do not occur in the future," it said.
Of the four girls who attempted suicide by consuming a poisonous fruit 'Othalanga', 15-year-old Aparna Ramabhadran died while three others are undergoing treatment.
"A team of doctors at AIIMS expressed satisfaction over the treatment procedure adopted by the Alappuzha Government Medical College, but suggested certain modifications in the treatment management, which was duly followed," it noted.
The AIIMS Director set up a medical board to provide necessary advice and support for the treatment of the surviving girls.