world’s largest sporting exercise, OLYMPICS games are on in RIO, first ever a time in the south American continent. This time, 207 nations and one refugee’s team are participating in the Olympics. The whole world is dancing to the tunes of its versatile colors riding on the achievements of their athletes and like always India is busy debating it’s failure once again at the international podium.
But India is still waiting ardently for a mere opportunity to celebrate. Six days of the RIO OLYMPICS have been a history so far and India is still empty handed. Most of the Indian athletes hopeful of the medal have been knocked out of the games as of now.
India houses 1,290,000,000 heads. it is one-sixth of the world’s population. But we are facing embarrassment worldwide as we are not able to find single head who can win a medal for us. Why we are on the top of the world ranking in terms of population but last when it comes to medals count in Olympics?
Chinese media writes about our poor show and makes the mockery out of us. More than twenty countries smaller than us either in population or in the area have already opened their medal tally. Even a small country of size equal to many Indian states, KOSOVO who got independence just eight years back has won gold. After all, what is the reason for such a poor show?
Experts cite many reasons for the dismal show. Indians have been able to dominate in cricket in achievements and commercially also but have failed miserably in other games. Unfortunately, Cricket does not find a place in Olympics.
In my view, Delving deep into basics will reckon problems associated with Indian sports. If we can thrive in cricket, why we can not succeed in other games. If our hockey team can win consecutive six gold medals in Olympics in past, why they can not win medals now? Answers are staggering and painful.
Following factors have led the success of cricket:
⦁ BCCI as an independent administrator.
⦁ Huge cricketing infrastructure.
⦁ World class training centers.
⦁ Commercialisation of the infrastructures available.
⦁ Flawless operations and vision for the growth.
Now analyzing the conditions of the other sports in comparison to the cricket, the result is absolutely opposite. India lacks profusely in sporting infrastructures. Athletes do not get better opportunities of training. They are wrestling with the limited resource available. Then how we can expect of an extraordinary show by our athletes?
Factors that are affecting Indian sports worse are:
⦁ Lack of necessary infrastructure.
⦁ Wrong mindset about sports.
⦁ Government’s averse stand.
⦁ Scarcity of funds.
⦁ Lack of policy and vision.
⦁ Pathetic conditions of livings.
In Indian schools and universities, sports are counted as extracurricular activities. There is no proper planning or vision of developing sports in India. In Indian schools, there are only 120 minutes periods allotted for sports per week. People see sports as time pass and parents are averse to indulge their children in sports.
According to a research, 90% of class 7th -10th students do not play any sports. 95% of them want to become doctor, engineer, advocate, pilot and judges. If this is the situation, why we are expecting to match to the Chinese tally in medals?
in the fiscal year 2015-16, the budget allocated for sports is mere 1592 crore by the union government. At the same time, India is spending 2,27,000 crore in subsidies. Obviously, India houses more than 30% of its population below poverty line and welfare measures are needed, but such a wide gap of funds allocations reveals the intention of the government in India towards sports.
The problem associated with the abysmal health of sports in India is that the government do not see sports as infrastructures rather they count it as extra expenditure. the day when the policy makers will envisage that sporting infrastructure is equally important as road, rail and industrial infrastructure, the golden day of Indian sports will kick off.
Policy makers should not take investment in sporting infrastructure as a burden rather they should take in line with other developments projects. They must capitalize on these infrastructures and find ways to make revenue out of it, which is not difficult. This practice has been depicted by many nations holding international sporting events, even India too benefited from organizing ASIAN GAMES in 1982.
ASIAN GAMES in 1982 made the advent of color television in India a reality. This was followed by a boom in electronic products and expanded markets, which are now the inseparable part of Indian economy.
Sports administrations are entangled with corruption and malpractices. The shocking stories of players being denied of their demands of training and proper infrastructure are a slap on sports ministry. The poor handling of conflicts brings down the confidence of players as we have seen in the case of Narsingh Yadav- Sushil Kumar’s case.
What India needs as of now is a sound policy and extended vision on the growth of sports in the country. India should include all the aspects while making the policy on sports. We must include corporate sector’s role in it, medium of revenue generations from the infrastructures. Only tinkering at the time of Olympics won’t do any good.
Change in the mindset of parents and governments both are important. This will happen only when the government will come ahead with a proper vision. We should not consider investment on sports as expenditure rather it should be taken as infrastructure development, which will yield back by promoting revenue generations. India can also host Olympics, we should go ahead with this motive.
It’s the time when the government should wake up from the deep slumber to reverse the embarrassment coming to our sides. We are the second most populous country in the world now. Think, in near one-two decade we will be the most populated country and we will not be bagging any medals. What an upsetting situation it would be?
So we should start sooner than later.