Indian sports fraternity celebrates National Sports Day on August 29 in the memory of hockey wizard and magician Major Dhyan Chand every year. Sports teaches us character, it teaches us to play by the rules, it teaches us to know what it feels like to win and lose, it teaches us about life.
Khelo India movement is gaining momentum as we come across more and funds are allotted to this cause to give importance to sports in this country. Thanks to the initiative taken by our Prime Minister and sports minister and the care taken by sports associations, all see our country’s flag is flying high in the world of sport. Even though we are not able to gain much in Olympics medals in recent times, our overall performance in other sports is creditable.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s pet project Khelo India has been the main gainer by getting additional Rs.170 crore in the Union Budget proposal presented by the Finance Minister. Khelo India school games showed much promise. It is encouraging to note that shot putter Khelo India movement is taking shape in sports circle, thanks to the initiative taken by PM in encouraging sports from the grass root level. It was an excellent show by the Maharashtra men and women and we feel proud to be number one on medals tally in the first Khelo India School Games. Kudos to Team Maharashtra.
Young Kiren Rijiju appointment as sports minister in Modi’s government is a right step in the right direction. The Target Olympic Podium Scheme is one of the many steps the Centre has implemented in nurturing young sporting talent more so for budding athletes. This scheme is not just about giving them exposure but taking care of them in all walks of life.
The Under 19 World cup win in separating them from boys to men in an inspired game of cricket. The goal of making sports a sustainable career is the main aim of the government. However, the game of cricket is given undue importance.
Indian sports is full of stories of champions triumphing despite the system and not because of it. These are individuals, who defy tremendous odds and don’t let the apathy and nepotism of administrators and the absence of even basic infrastructure hamper them. In the 10 metre air pistol, Sourabh Chaudhry, 15, from a farmer’s family in UP became the youngest Indian ever to win an Asian Games gold. Catch them young is true for sportsmen in India.
Indian badminton team is in high spirits as PV Sindhu is winning medals in Super Series and she is the shinning star in the Indian sports horizon. Now she made history by winning the badminton World Championship. Pullela Gopichand deserves all praise for picking the right choice in an individual game. Khelo India movement is going on in high spirits as more and more medals are pocketed by our sportsmen and sportswomen and Indian flag is flying in the field of World sports. Apart from cricket, other games are also getting much needed boost in the recent times. Our enthusiastic sports minister Kiren Rijiju wants India’s youth to gun for the bulls eye through the Khelo India programme and reap a rich harvest of medals and accolades for the Indian sports contingent. Many sports personalities are getting the honour Arjuna Award and other civilian awards up to Bharat Ratna to Sachin Ramesh Tendulkar.
Jeev Milkha Singh is an Indian professional golfer who became the first player from India to join the European Tour in 1998. He has won four events on the European Tour becoming the most successful Indian on tour. Mary Kom is an Indian boxer who has the distinction of being a five-time World Amateur Boxing champion. This biography of Mary Kom provides detailed information about her childhood, life, achievements, works and timeline in a big way. Likewise many more biopic came to Bollywood about Indian sports personalities and that includes MS Dhoni and Milkha Singh. ‘Bhaag Milkha Bhaag’ was an inspiration for young sports talent in India.
In the field of hockey, we are lagging behind much after showing early promise in Olympics and other World sports events. But of late, the performance is not good enough to cheer about. The training methods in India should match that of European countries in the field hockey. Youngsters should be tried out Astro Turf to gain maximum experience and the much needed exposure. Both Snooker and Billiards are getting the feel India with many champions in the making. Chess, Carrom and Table Tennis are the best indoor games. Shiva Keshavan is knocking Winter Olympics for 5 seasons and lasting for 22 years with a flourish. All in all, Indian sports in true spirits thanks to the Khelo India initiative. Hockey is a national sport and we must encourage the sport from grassroot level.
Nothing succeeds like success and the recent success in Asian Games with over 50 medals in our kitty is an encouraging performance and we wish to continue the good work of our athletes in the days to come and bring more laurels to the country. India’s sportspersons are not only wanting to excel but also showing deep desire to win. Today is National Sports Day. Our sincere hope and appeal for today and every tomorrow, is free and easy access to sports, across every city, town, gully and field. All this, so that we become healthier at home awards and accolades in the years to come.
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)