The Indian Swimming Sensation – Prasanta Karmakar
Prasanta Karmakar is one of the renowned Para sports personalities in India. He is the first Para-swimmer from India to have represented the country and won medals in World Swimming Championships in Argentina. He rocked the swimming fraternity by clinching four gold medals, two silver medals, and a bronze in the IWAS World Games, held in Bangalore in 2009. The 42-year-old Para-swimmer and the 16-time national champion also created history in the 2010 Commonwealth Games, being the first swimmer to have won a bronze medal in the Commonwealth Games. The Arjuna awardee and Major Dhyan Chand Sports awardee also became the national coach for the Indian swimming team before the 2015 World Championship and before the 2016 Rio Paralympics. Karmakar conducted training camps in Gujarat as well as at Chinsura Swimming Club in West Bengal. In the Rio Paralympics, one of Karmakar’s students Suyesh Narayan Yadav earned qualification for the finals.
Challenge against Suspension
Prasanta Karmakar was suspended for three years in 2017 by the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) against the allegation that Karmakar was making a video of female swimmers. Despite the suspension period being over, Prasanta Karmakar has moved Delhi High Court, challenging the suspension. Talking over the phone Karmakar said,
“PCI had suspended me by making a conspiracy to keep me away from swimming. PCI do not not have the power to suspend any swimmer as per there bylaws. They disobeyed their bylaws and suspended me.”
“Yes, videos of female swimmer were made. But the videos were made by her father itself and not by me. No where it was stated that Videography is prohibited. Videography in swimming competition is very important for biomechanical testing aspects and further assessment. Actually, it was a big conspiracy against me by the then administrators of PCI. They were envious of my success.”
The case is going on for the last two years. Prasanta Karmakar sounded optimistic as he stated,
“Advocate Amit Kumar Sharma along with Satyam Singh Rajput and his team are looking after the case. I feel I will be able to get the justice ultimately.”
The Hurdles of Prasanta Karmakar Continues
Prasanta Karmakar was given the job of swimming coach at the Haryana sports department in 2004. But he could finally be able to join the office in 2014 as he had to face obstructions from several quarters there in the state and finally following support from the then Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupinder Singh Hadda, he could join the office. Even during the suspension, Karmakar who used to run his residential swimming center in Chinsura in West Bengal had to stop. The most promising Para-swimmers all over the country had trained under Karmakar’s coaching at that time.
The Indomitable Prasanta Karmakarand his Plans to gift swimmers to Bengal
Prasanta Karmakar has not stopped. His determination has again guided him toward the hope of a glorious comeback. He along with his couple of students has qualified for the Asian Games next year. Simultaneously, he is on a mission to produce swimmers of international standard in near future. He finished off by saying,-- Advertisement --
“They wanted me to stop my swimming, but have not been successful. I am eyeing a comeback in the Asian Games next year. Incidentally, the then government in Bengal promised me to give a residential flat after I got the bronze medal in the 2010 Commonwealth Games. But I have not received anything so far. Anyway, I do not mind. I am already on a mission to perform in the next Asian Games & help some promising swimmers to prosper in near future and that will be from Bengal itself.”