2016 Olympic bronze medallist Sakshi Malik and the 2020 Tokyo Olympic medallist Bajrang Punia have slammed the Wrestling Federation of India Chief and BJP MP Brij Bhushan Sharan Singh for his “medals are only worth ₹15”. Recently, the WFI Chief commented that the protesting wrestlers should return their money as the “medals are only worth ₹15”. Bhushan recently appeared in an interview by a local channel and said that the wrestlers should think of returning the money instead of the medal. Reacting to his remarks, Malik and Punia slammed him.
Malik and Punia took it to Twitter to react to the WFI head’s remark. Malik tweeted, "In the age of playing with dolls, I made the soil my friend. I have sacrificed everything for the medal which is being told of ₹ 15. It is a matter of shame that such is the condition of champions in our country. I have won this medal for my country, no one can put a price on it.” Meanwhile, Punia tweeted, “The medal that this man is saying is worth ₹15… behind that medal is our 15 years of hard work. People like you did not give it in charity; they have been earned after shedding blood and sweat after winning for the country. Had he not considered girls as toys and players as humans, he would not have talked like this.”
Earlier on Wednesday, Punia said that he is willing to return his medals and other honours if the wrestlers don’t get justice. He said, “Whatever medals I have won in India, I am willing to return them. My international medals were not given to me by the Indian government, so I'll keep those. I am also ready to return Arjuna and Khel Ratna honours if we don't get justice.”
Notably, wrestlers are currently protesting against the Wrestling Federation of India Chief for allegedly harassing seven female wrestlers, including a minor.