Sports refers to the physical activities generally involving skill of competitive nature. An individual or group often competes against another for entertainment. National and international games take the meaning of sports to a whole new level.It not only becomes a matter of national pride but also provides a platform to promising athletes to showcase their talents.The great virtue of sports teaches everybody to acquire the will to win. If anyone knows how to acquire any will, he will succeed in every aspect of life. Life is full of struggle that has been started since the creation of the world. However, a constant and prominent fight must help the fighter to overcome every difficulty against any obstacle.
After securing a historic tally of 29 medals in the 22nd Asian Athletics Championship 2017 India grabbed the first position in the list of participating countries in the event. India bagged 12 gold, 5 silver and 12 bronze medal to come up to the total of 29 medals which is also their highest ever medal haul in the event’s history.
The star of the event like Swapna Barman, Neeraj Chopra, Govindam Lakshmanan, P V Chitra, Ajay Kumar Saroj, etc won the gold medal while athletes like V Neena, Rajiv Arokia, etc, won the silver and those who won the bronze include Dutee Chand, Jisna Mathew and many more.
Maximum of these players/ athletes come from the remotest part of India. Working hard day and night for national events like the Olympics, Asian Games, etc. they still fail to achieve their aim just because they do not get the adequate resources and training required, which will help them to achieve more of such proud moments for the country. As a nation, we are extremely proud of our cricketing exploits, while our national sports, Field Hockey, remain embroiled in controversy and lack of attention from the officials. At every Olympic Games, challengers like China and Russia walk away with multiple gold medals. Last gold medal for India was won by Abhinav Bindra in 2008 Olympics. In 2016 summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Indian Olympics Association fielded a team of 117 athletes, but returned home with just 2 medals and ranked 67th out of the 117 competitors. For the very first time both the medals awarded during the event were to the female athletes. Badminton star P.V. Sindhu won the silver medal at the women’s singles competition while Sakshi Malik won bronze at the 58 kg women’s wrestling category.These are the only achievements for India in 2016 Olympics.
Even after winning the medals those athletes gained popularity and were in news only for a few days. Scholarships have been awarded to them, prize money promised, also sometimes some athletes are promised government jobs. But as said ‘promises are meant to be broken’ so do they break with time and the state of these talented, hard working athletes remain the same.
The very recent ICC Champions Trophy, 2017 in which India got defeated by Pakistan, while people were busy watching India losing in Cricket hardly anyone watched India win Hockey World League Semi Finals, 2017 against Pakistan. Or let’s just say, it got overshadowed by the overwhelming hype created around cricket which is actually a British legacy. From winning several Olympics gold medals to struggling to just qualify for the Games, Indian Hockey team has faced everything. Hockey being the India’s national game doesn’t get the attention it deserves. It gets obscured under the stereotypical notion which treat hockey as a ‘second rated game’ at the national level. This treatment is a result of our conflicting ideologies. Its players face problem relating to lack of facilities, infrastructure and funds.
We always compare the state of Indian Cricketers to that of any other sports player and then blame the government for the lack of provisions for other sports in the country .Ironically, Cricket isn’t administered by the government but BCCI, which is a private entity. So comparing the state of an Indian cricketer to that of other sport players is just not appropriate.
Well, the question is unanswered, as to how the state treats the Indian players / athletes? what is there state even after winning medals at various sports championships?How do we construe and perceive sports like kabbadi, ice hockey, archery, etc.? Scarce public and lack of investible funds ,all the resources have eluded sports. So, the root problem is ineffective participation which leads to undetected talent. This is further compounded by misallocation, lack of transparency, poor management, poor assets, inadequate training, etc. leading to failure of athletes and players at those national events.
It is rightly said India doesn’t have a Sports Culture, this is not only because of the Indian government but also the way people treat sports as a career. When asked why, the apparent answer we get is “there is no scope”. This is all because of the inappropriate training and education in the field of sports, which is still given a second grade treatment at all levels in India. Sports in India are limited to schools and colleges. There are chances of getting admission via Sports Quota but when the aspirants think of opting sports as career, only one out of ten people will take the plunge. Some drop it, taking into consideration their family situation, some because of future earning point in their mind, girls mostly because of the orthodox society pressure and some because of improper training facilities in their own city or state making them to toil for hours. Parents refrain from encouraging their children from opting sports as career and teachers too lay more emphasis on studies. There are many movies on the life of sports stars like MS Dhoni, Sachin, Mary Kom through which we get to know the struggle and hardships these legends have gone through to reach to such a position.Who can forget Dangal, the biographical sports drama portraying the struggles of Indian wrestlers in having to overcome obstacles ranging from funding, training to exposure and the struggle against gender stereotypes. The government of India have introduced various incentives for the promotion of sports such as the “Come and Play” schemes which primarily focuses on encouraging local sports person in areas where Sports Authority of India (SAI) are operational. It nurtures and supports talent in youth and provide them requisite infrastructure, equipment, coaching facilities and exposure for their overall development. The Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) which works to create and sustain an environment conducive to growth of industry in India was founded in year 1895. CII is non-government, not for profit, industry led and industry managed organization with 8,300 members, from the private as well as public sectors, including SMEs and MNCs and an indirect membership of over 2,00,000 enterprises from around 250 national and regional sectored industry bodies. This national Committee had laid a five point agenda to build a sports ecosystem in India systematically impacting at the grassroots level.
The CII National Committee on Sports undertakes:
1) Education: By promoting sports along with studies. A step can be by making sports as compulsory norm in schools like the other subjects.
2) Infrastructure: By being able to leverage the existing infrastructure in systematic way to encourage more of participation.
3) Messaging: Educating people with right message on sports in the society across mediums.
4) Investment: By promoting events like IPL, IFL, IBL, Pro Kabbadi League, etc so that a mechanism is created by which more of investments can be made in fields of sports.
5) Responsibility: Through the CSR initiatives made by various organizations to participate in community activity that can and will create positive impact.
According to the recent research by CRISIL, CSR has shown a steady growth in its 3 year journey. According to the report in financial year 2016, 1160 Indian companies spend about 8349 crore, a 22% jump from FY15, in the socially responsible activities. Spending has been largely aligned with national priorities, with 32% going to education and skills, 31% going to healthcare and 14% being invested in rural development. Only 1% of current CSR outlay is going towards sports promotion.
There is a tremendous amount of sporting wave in the country, the only need is to nurture them properly.
In the 3 day annual ‘CII Scorecard 2017’ the various sports policy makers, stakeholders and dignitaries like Mr. Jitender Singh (Ministry of Manipur), Mr. Ratan Watal (Principal Advisor, Social space NITI Aayog), Mr. Sanjay Gupta (Chairman, CII National Committee for Sports), etc. spoke about the importance of sports, its opportunities and future. Scorecard 2017 set the agenda for sports at the grassroot level.
CSR funding can bring a lot of changes in field of sports. One such initiative is made by SATTVA, an institution which works closely with corporations to design, implement, and assess high impact initiatives so that the social return on investment through CSR is maximized. If CSR funding is taken up appropriately, this can be a huge investment opportunity for corporates who are passionate about promoting sports. Sportsman spirit of the eminent sportsmen encourages the forthcoming youths to aspire for an international platform.Through CSR, we can be the wind beneath the wings of these sportsmen, leading them to conquer new skies.
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