New Delhi, June 11 (IANS) The Indian Olympic Association (IOA) Tuesday mourned the death its former president Vidya Charan Shukla, and said it has lost an able administrator and guide.
Shukla, a former union minister who sustained bullet wounds in a Maoist attack May 25 in Chhattisgarh, died Tuesday afternoon at the Medanta Hospital in Gurgaon, Haryana, after suffering from multi-organ failure. He was 84.
Shukla, who headed the IOA from 1984 to 1987, is survived by wife and three daughters.
He was also the former president of the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) and Table Tennis Federation of India (TTFI).
In a condolence message, IOA's current president Abhay Singh Chautala and secretary general Lalit Bhanot said with the death of Shukla "the sports in the country has lost its Bhishma Pitamah".
"His death is a loss for every sportsperson and official who came in contact with him. We will miss him."
They said: "It is sad that IOA has lost two of its former presidents in less than two months. We have not yet recovered from the death of Dr B.S. Adityan, who left us in April and now this tragedy has befallen."
"We know that Shukla was very unhappy with the IOC suspending the IOA and was keen to see India's return to the Olympic fold."
The IOA chief described Shukla as a genuine sports lover who wanted to uplift the standard of the Indian sports.
Bhanot said: "I had the privilege of working with him and all I can say is that I learnt a lot from him."
TTFI secretary general Dhanraj Choudhary told IANS table tennis prospered when Shukla was at the helm from 1993 to 1997.
"When he was in charge, there was growth in the number of big tournaments. It is a great loss for sports as well as TTFI," said Choudhary.