Mumbai: In a landmark decision taken by various big construction companies only those Olympic medalists who have won a gold medal for the country at Olympics will be considered for jobs of construction workers at cricket stadium construction sites. Athletes with silver and bronze medals may be kept for lower-wage jobs such as cleaning and sweeping but will not be given much coveted construction-worker jobs.
“A lot of previous hockey players, and Olympic medal winners are reporting at construction sites willing to work as daily-wage laborers,” Gurprem Bhalla a construction manager told our reporter.
“They are athletic and well-built but we already have over-supply of laborers, hence we have decided that we will only consider those athletes for laborer positions who have a gold medal or above. Those with silver and bronze should first go and earn gold and then only they will be accepted as laborers at our sites. We are highly performance driven and we do award over-achievers,” Bhalla added with a smile.
Bhalla then took our reporter on a tour of the whole construction site, and showed us various gold medalist athletes working across the site as laborers. He first showed us a guy who was pulling a massive trolley full of bricks.
He said, “Look at that man, he is a previous weight lifter in heavy-weight category. He is 3 times gold medalist in some Olympic or some Asian games something. He lifts and pulls thousands of KGs of bricks in a day. Now look at that lady passing cement sacks to a laborer on 1st floor of the building. She is a double gold medalist in short-put. She can throw hundreds of such cement sacks to the 1st and 2nd floor in one day. These truly are star performers. I am sure silver or bronze winners wouldn’t have been this effective.”
Jigyasa Kakodkar who is studying as a B.Com 1st year student at Mumbai university, also runs a local NGO to support non-cricket sportsmen. She has no good words to speak about the plight of former athletes.
She said, “People are ready to exploit the power and strength of former athletes but they don’t pay them fair wages. And this rule of taking only gold medalists as construction workers is ridiculous. Once our NGO gets more funding from foreign source I will invest a few crores in television marketing to create awareness and make sure all athletes turned construction-workers get equal opportunities and equal wages. Your medal will not decide your daily wages,” she earnestly said.