Tuesday 20 April 2021

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed

Sports | Games

Mystery of Pratima's suicide


A strange mystery shrouded around Pratima Gaonkar, considered to be another P T Usha in-the-making, who committed suicide at the age of 19 years on Tuesday evening.

While the sports field in the state was shocked at the news of Pratima's suicide yesterday morning, yet another shocking news hit in the evening, taking everybody by surprise.

Revealing the post-mortem report, the police disclosed that certain vital gender elements of Pratima, to prove her a female, were missing. Apparently, she could not digest it and resorted to end her life in a tragic manner.

While police are still investigating into it further, inquiries reveal that Pratima was disturbed for quite a few days over something, which she had refused to divulge to her colleagues, staying with her at the SAI girls' hostel in Mapusa.

It is suspected that her gender problem had come to light during sex determination test held at the National Institute of Sports, Patiala recently. After excelling at Asian Athletics Championship by bagging a silver medal in 4x400 mts relay in July, she was to leave for Chennai to participate in under-22 nationals, to be held on 24 October.

The first Goan sprinter to participate at Asian level in Brunei to bring silver for India, even P T Usha had recently reportedly told the media in Kerala that Pratima was indeed running faster than her.

Prior to Brunei, her excellence was noticed when Pratima clinched to a bronze at National School Games at Gandhinagar in January this year, followed by dazzling performance in Bangalore and three individual golds at West Zone athletic meet in Pune.

"Pratima deserved better. Better from those insensitive and inhuman officials of NIS, Patiala, who told her the oddity of her anatomy in a manner that they did. She had a right to counselling, to help her cope with that shocking piece of news", writes local journalist Ashley do Noronha, while paying tributes to the great of hope of India, which is no more.

The post-mortem report has revealed that a male organ measuring half an inch was found while female organs like ovaries, uterus and vagina were missing. It also states that her breasts were not fully developed.

The police have now engaged a team of doctors to find out whether hormonal changes can lead to such changes. The sports officials here however admit that the system of gender test is not followed in India, as a routine matter.

"Whatever may be the mystery, but it is a fact that India has lost a great star which was in the making", states V M Prabhudesai, the state sports director. The state had honoured Pratima after she had returned with a silver from Brunei.

Coming from a very poor financial background, in a village of Kirlapal in Easter Goa, Pratima was a shy and friendly person, having unbelievable 'killer instinct' in the field of sports. Her determination was her main strength, state her colleagues at the SAI hostel.

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