Assam Archery Board blames official negligence for 12-year-old’s injury

Assam Archery Association, SAI, Sports Authority of India, Shivangini Gohain, archer
The 12-year-old Shivangini Gohain, who was training at the Dakha Devi Rasiwasia College at Chabua, was airlifted to Delhi and admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre. Representative image: iStock

The Assam Archery Association on Friday (January 10) said that archer Shivangini Gohain, who was impaled by an arrow shot accidentally at the SAI center in Dibrugarh, was training unsupervised and the mishap was a result of negligence by the local coach and officials.

The 12-year-old, who was training at the Dakha Devi Rasiwasia College at Chabua which serves as an extension center under the Sports Authority of India (SAI) Regional Centre in Guwahati on Wednesday (January 8), was airlifted to Delhi on Thursday (January 9) night and admitted to the AIIMS Trauma Centre.

According to Pulin Das, a joint secretary of the Assam Archery Association and executive member of the state Olympic association said the injury to the schoolgirl from the Deodhai village, which is 3km from Chabua, happened as the trainees were practising without any coach and other officials.

“There is an SAI contractual coach Marcy and he has left for the Khelo India Games in Guwahati. He didn’t instruct the trainees to stop the camp for some time nor did the college principal, who acted as administrator of the extension center, looked after the practice,” Das told PTI over the phone on Friday (January 10).

The extension center has 11 trainees, six boys, and five girls, and they were training under SAI contractual coach AC Marcy from Nagaland, who is in Guwahati for the Khelo India Youth Games.

“The training ground itself is in very bad shape, it was not even a dedicated ground for archery training, some play football, cricket, and other sports on that ground. But the worst part is that the SAI coach did not give instructions to stop the camp for a while and the archers were training without any supervision,” he added

Das said Gohain was struck by an arrow shot by boys doing practice for the compound events. The arrow remained stuck for more than a day before she was airlifted to New Delhi on Thursday night.

“There was nobody to look after the archers, they were training on their own even though their parents were outside the ground. An arrow shot by a boy trainee who was doing compound event practice hit her on the shoulder,” the official said.

Gohain’s father Brinchi Gohain was outside the practice area and with no official of the college and SAI coming for help, she was taken to Assam Medical College in Dibrugarh, 33km from Chabua.

“She could reach the AMC in Dribugarh only on Thursday morning. There, the doctors told her parents to take her to a more reputed hospital like AIIMS in Delhi. With help from people close to the local Member of Parliament and Assam CM himself, she was taken by air ambulance to Delhi.

“I was told that she had a very tough time as the arrow remained stuck for more than a day. She is a strong-willed girl and she fought. Her father must be a daily wage labourer and he was distraught also.”

The SAI said that it will bear all the expenses of her treatment.

A senior doctor at the AIIMS Trauma Centre said a part of the arrow had gone through Gohain’s shoulder bone.

“She was admitted to the hospital at around 8 pm. Doctors are examining her and she is undergoing investigations. A decision on the course of treatment to be provided to her or performing a surgery will be taken soon,” he said, adding that the archer was “conscious and stable”.

The Assam Archery Association has contributed ₹20,000 towards her treatment.

(With inputs from agencies)