Report says 30 Muslim sports coaches and trainers fired without reason in Gujarat

A report by The Wire notes 30 coaches and trainers, belonging to the Muslim community, to have had their contracts terminated by their employers in the last two months.
Image: The Wire

According to a report by Tarushi Aswani in The Wire, 30 Muslim coaches in Gujarat schools have been fired in the past two months. The reason is still not known. However, each of these coaches had been employed at government run institutes by sports companies.

Those fired were coaches and trainers employed by private companies in various districts of the state. They ranged from coaches who trained students for judo, volleyball, basketball, and several other sports. The Wire reported that the sports coaches have written to the state ministry for home, industries, transport, youth and sports but have not received a response as of yet. The report also states that trainers whose performance had been appreciated by seniors were terminated from their jobs. When they asked for the reasons why they were fired, they did not receive an answer. One company official even responded that he himself did not know why the individual was being terminated.

Other than that, the coaches say there is little else they can do, speaking to The Wire, one of them states, “We have tried our best, pleaded to employers, pleaded to the schools we work at, using the kind of work ethics we follow and the laurels we have brought to our respective institutions, even written to the sports minister, but being Muslim, nothing helps.”

While Muslims constitute about 9 % of the state’s population, it is notable that for almost 40 years, the state of Gujarat has not seen a single Muslim MP in the Lok Sabha. The last parliamentarian from the Muslim community elected in Gujarat was Ahmed Patel in 1984. Minorities in the state have also reported facing discrimination and violence. In an essay by SabrangIndia, a young Muslim from Gujarat revealed targeted discrimination against the community as he narrated harrowing tales of discrimination – some of which even took place with the individual’s young children in school.

The community already holds dismal figures in the education sector. According to the 2023 AISHE report (All India Survey of Higher Education), Muslim students represent only 5.5% of overall enrolment in the country but furthermore, it is noteworthy that teachers from the Muslim minority constitute only 5.6% of the total percentage of teachers across India. Gujarat recorded around 1718 number of teachers from the community in the survey with Uttar Pradesh having the highest number of minority teachers at 10566. Reports attest that discrimination and violence has prevented the community’s figures from rising.



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