Bhopal: One of the most respected sportspersons in the country, PT Usha is a household name in the country - but in Bhopal she felt insulted.
"She has done India proud. The way she was treated is not acceptable. What will next generation learn from this?" asked Milkha Singh, athlete.
"This is not the way to treat accomplished sportspersons," said another athlete Shiny Wilson.
The fraternity's growing outrage over how PT Usha was treated at the 49th National Athletic Championships in Bhopal.
She had arrived in Bhopal on Monday with five athletes from her academy. The organizers forgot to receive her. Her accommodation: They forgot that too!
But Sports Authority of India (SAI) could offer no accommodation. She was asked to wait as the officers were busy with a minister's programme.
Ironically, the picture of Usha who is a member of SAI's governing body is proudly displayed on its walls.
For five hours she wandered in the rain with her team, exhausted and hungry and finally checked into a hotel.
"When I came, I was waiting, waiting, and roaming and that was a problem actually. But now they have realized," said PT Usha, athlete, Coach.
The Madhya Pradesh government on Tuesday apologised to her and ordered a probe into ill-treatment of the athlete.
"I have apologised to her and organised her accommodation in a hotel," said Kailash Vijayvargiya, PWD Minister, Madhya Pradesh.
Apology accepted, yet a telling comment on the value India attaches to its sports.
It's often not a red-carpet story.
"When we give priority to sportsmen and give them all the facilities, only then will get the medals," said PT Usha.
Surely, no one's heard of a cricket legend being treated so shabbily!