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कृण्वन्तो विश्वमार्यम्


By Chitranjan Sawant
What are the strong points that form a rock-like base for India to jumpstart as an international athletic nation? To begin with we have a population bordering 1.3 billion strong. There lies the untapped talent for international level sports. India has a booming economy and it has been acclaimed by the world powers. India has advanced knowledge and manpower in science and technology that compares well with that of super powers. Last but not the least we have YOUTH who are ever eager to learn and are raring to go.
What are India’s weak points that prevent the billion strong nation from making a mark on the international sports horizon? Corruption is the first and the foremost. Next is stranglehold of bureaucracy on sportsmen and sports bodies. Then there is an utter lack of modern facilities to train the budding talent in a scientific way. Lastly more than half of our population is locked up in interior villages, forests and hills where the ray of knowledge has not yet reached. We say TAMASO MA JYOTIGAMAYA –LEAD US FROM DARKNESS UNTO LIGHT BUT DO NOT LET IT PERCOLATE TO THE INTERIOR HAMLET LEVEL.
Abhinav Bindra living near Chandigarh was denied government support of international level to train in rifle shoot. He fell back on his paternal support and trained well. He was successful in bagging a personal gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in the air rifle shoot event. But for his father’s support he would have sunk in the quagmire of bureaucratic apathy. A young man shone bright at his personal initiative.
In swimming there are chances of bagging many medals. Our Sandip Sejwal, 22, is training well and his trainers as well as officials are hopeful that he would bag a gold as and when an opportunity comes. He comes of a semi-rural background. That factor opens a new horizon of attracting the untapped talent in the rural area and train them, provide all modern facilities and encourage them psychologically to participate and perform at the Olympics. The shyness of the village lad or the gal has to be got over and change them from introverts into extroverts. At the same time care has to be taken that in ultra modern company of international athletes, they do not turn to drugs.
We Indians should be ever eager to learn. USA, USSR, present day Russia and now China have done very well. Hard work, perseverance and national support have brought them in the limelight. We should follow suit. Let us take the example of our neighbour China. China has won 430 Olympic medals so far. They collected 100 medals in the 2008 Olympics that was held in Beijing. In contrast we in India have collected only 20 Olympic medals so far. Naturally, we Indians have to think hard and work harder. There may have been bureaucratic apathy so far but now the people have woken up to the problem of falling standards of sport. A ministry of sports has been galvanized. Private bodies have come up to provide athletes technical and financial support.
The improvement of sports programmes should be time bound. If the athletes have to go abroad to participate in a meet, it is the job of the Administration to ensure that the documentation is completed and money arranged on time. An athlete should not have to run around for the jobs that administrative officials are supposed to do. Further, it is preposterous that at times more officials than athletes go to an international meet and draw a blank in the medal tally.
As of now, cricket takes the lion’s share of our national resources, time, attention and medial publicity. With the result the youth is drawn to cricket and not to swimming or track events. Cricket has no entry in the Olympics and we do not get a gold there. The Sports Ministry of Government of India should devise a strategy that encourages core sports and brings India the much needed gold medals at the Olympics. If the government encourages athletics, the youth will do wonders and bag more medals than the established neighbours. The media should also provide adequate coverage to sports other than cricket so that the mindset of the new generation is changed for the better.
An all out campaign FOR THE Olympics should be launched right now. With national effort and cooperation of men and women who have talents and not forgetting our money bags, the next Olympics and the one next to next will bring in a Golden change and gladden hearts of all Indians.
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To instigate the feelings

To instigate the feelings for getting highest standards in any thing including Sports will be to provide basic opportunities at the grassrout levels. We don't have any grounds, any swimming pools etc to fulfill this need . The no. of existing grounds , swimming pools is highly inadequate. Why the common man should be kept bereft of such facilities ? Why not such facilities are made available to each & everyone at a reasonable distance from his residence & at a reasonable cost ? Has government ever given any thought to this ?

AUM Namaste BakshiJi. it is

Namaste BakshiJi. it is indeed misfortune of our sportsmen that they do not get equipment or encouragement to practise and excell. The bureaucracy takes the lion's share everywhere and the sportsmen are neglected. Their complaints and suggestions go unheard. So, unless we mend our ways and attitude to sports and sportsmen, we have no hope to bag more gold medals than China.
Chitranjan Sawant