India is a country known worldwide for its culture, heritage and diversity. Many things make up all these three popular things. Sports are one of them. India has been the creator of many globally famous sports. It is the creator of chess, card games, Martial Arts Pachisi, Kho-Kho, Kabbadi, Polo, Snakes & ladders. Though the founder of so many games, the condition of Indian Sports was not a favorable one and also to some extent not even now.
Improvement in Indian Sports
Not to mention-Scarce infrastructure, inefficient equipment, Media-biases towards few sports, gender inequality and the most important, orthodox nature of Indian society treating sports only as a pleasure play instead of a career.
Let us come to the problems and the recent dig-ups for their solutions
The first, the foremost and the basic problem is the orthodox nature of Indian Society. To begin with, sports have been taken only as a device to leisure-time activities. It is always taken as a means to fun, but never as a means to ends. Parents and school teachers’ attitude towards sports have always been a source of expiration for a budding sports star, especially when it comes to a poor or a middle-class family. But now there are some changes occurring, noticeable too.
Almost every other Government schools and Colleges frequently keeps on organizing various sports events at school/college level, cluster level, state level and Inter-State level offering various lucrative prizes motivating both Parents and budding sports stars. The Sports Authority of India has joined hands with the Army and other Corporate Organisations to come up with many schemes and incentives to motivate sportsmanship in youth. Children of group age 7 to 10 years are being given food, shelter, Training and Coaching and if they do well in the sports field, they are given the opportunity to play at National and International level. But still, the magnitude of such change is not enough.
The society is yet to reach the point of enlightenment
The second obstacle is Facilities in which infrastructure, sports equipment, incentives, secured employment are on the top. A proper infrastructure plays a vital role in the functioning of a sport. In the recent Union Budget for 2016-17 presented by Financial Minister Arun Jaitley who also happens to be the former administrator of the Delhi & Districts Cricket Association (DDCA), the allocation for the Sports Ministry got a hike of 50.87 crores INR from last year. The Sports Authority of India has been granted a total of 381.30 crore INR this year, which is a hike of 11.91 crore INR. The assistance to sports institutions has been kept at 545.90 crore INR.
There was also an allocation with respect to Sports Ministry a total 12 crore INR for anti-doping activities which remain same as the last year. Being not so enough for a huge country like India, it does bring some improvements to some extent. But, the important thing is not only the allocation of amount and resources but it’s fully efficient utilization. Since scarce infrastructure is not only the problem, many cities though have fully equipped clubhouse or sports Centers, most of them remain unutilized for most of the year. Even the National Stadiums remain inactive for months. Proper authority, accountability is yet to be set –up.
Gender inequality in India is not a myth; it’s a harsh reality even today
The most shameful thing- Gender inequality still exists. In the sports fields, it can be seen in the number of women coaches, women sportspersons. It is very difficult to forget that moment in 2009 when India’s former sprint Queen broke down in front of media regarding the discrimination faced by her. Many women empowerment programs are being run in the hope that it do will end. It is we that have to change and change starts from us.