This issue is required to be dealt with at various stages.
Yes, India’s youth need lot of encouragement to achieve excellence in sports, firstly from the parents, secondly from the educational institutions, thirdly from the sponsor and the last but not the least from the provincial and the central Governments.
Roll of Parents: Now-a-days, parents are very much concerned with their children’s progress reports than any thing. They only want to see distinction marks in all the subjects in the progress reports of their children. They want to see their children as Engineers, Doctors, Scientists or administrators when they grow up. Their ultimate goal is to see their children earning Dollars in USA or Lakhs of Rupees in MNCs in India. The parents actually discourage their children from participating in games and sports thinking that it will hamper their studies and ultimately affect their career prospects. To a certain extent, their concern is justified because we see many a ex-sportsman who earned fame and medals for the country are in a poor condition struggling for their livelihood. The parents do not want to see their children in that condition. If at all some parents are interested, they are not in a position to spend for the education as well as sports simultaneously for their children. Here comes the roll of sponsor. Even when some parents venture to encourage their children in sports and games they are not confidant that the talent in their children is recognized by the concerned authorities and they get their due representation in state level, National level and International level events due the obvious reasons of favouritism, influence, politics so on so forth.
Here, everybody is forgetting one factor. Without sports and games we cannot produce healthy youth because the sports and games are useful for the healthy growth and development of body and mind. In a way, we are sacrificing the health of our children by not exposing them to sports and games. The sports and games help in improving blood circulation, muscle building and sharpen the brain. Yes, for a healthy brain, a healthy body is required. Lack of sporting activity in school and college days is one of the important reasons why the youth in their thirties itself are becoming susceptible to so many circulatory and heart problems in our country. So, is it not necessary that the parent’s attitudes should change?
Educational Institutions: How many of our present day educational institutions are having play grounds attached to them? In our childhood days our progress reports or the records given at the end of the academic year used to contain grades of our talent and proficiency in sports and games along with the marks obtained in subjects. Right from the pull-ups, 100mtr. Dash, long-jump, high-jump and other sports activities. Football and Hokey were very famous along with Baseball, Volley-ball, Basket-ball, Badminton and even Tennicoit. Students up to the college level used to play games in the evening and then only they return home. That scene is not to be seen today. The Sports Day used to be celebrated before the School or College Day. These things are gradually disappearing from the schools. Now the school children are over burdened with home work so that they have to run home to finish the home work. Where do they find time to play? In the colleges there is stiff competition to score not less than nineties and then to prepare for the entrance examinations for professional courses. How to change this situation? The school curriculum should be changed to make sports and games compulsory.
Roll of the Sponsors: These days there has been lot of talent search to pick up bright students suitable for jobs right from the colleges by several MNCs as well as Indian Companies. Who comes in search of talent in sports? Yes, the sponsors make a queue when some one becomes popular in some sport or the other. The major factor blocking the talent in other sports in our country is the game of Cricket. All the print media and Television Channels promote cricket only. They conduct programmes lasting for hours with the cricketers and the expert commentators. No need to say about day long live telecasts of the cricket matches and the waste of time to many a people. The BCCI earns thousands of crores of rupees because the people are so addicted to the game of cricket even though our cricket team disappoints the people so badly with their performance by losing the matches which any other team in the world could have won easily. Our people are satisfied with occasional wins by our cricket team. People are not behind any other game except cricket and same case with the sponsors. There is very less money in other games and sports in our country. If the huge money earned by the Cricket Board is partially spared for the promotion of other sports no other sponsor is needed. A country with 100 Billion people with a few individual medals in Olympics over a period of 60 years of independence. What a pity! Therefore, the companies apart from running after cricket celebrities should come forward to pick up young talent in other sports, adopt them, extend necessary facilities to the young talent so that they could win medals for the country in the international events and bring pride for the country and for them. The Govt. may give some exemptions to the companies in IT etc., for this purpose.
Roll of the Government: Best facilities are required for producing a best sportsman. The Govt. should come forward to build good avenues for the development of sports and games in our country. The funds allotted to the sports ministry in various States and the Union Government is always megre.The Governments do not feel it necessary or important to provide adequate funds for sports. Even the funds allotted are seldom spent properly. The Sports Authorities in many states are mere ornamental organizations. They should be filled with people who have adequate knowledge of sports and interest to promote sports. Even there are some active persons, what can they do with megre funds?
So, this is the situation in our country which requires reforms at all the above levels so that the Indian youth can be encouraged to achieve excellence in sports. Is it possible in the present situation? Yes, we must be optimistic we are witnessing fast changes in each and every field in our country towards the betterment and why it should not hold good in case of sports also? May our youth achieve par excellence in sports in the days to come.