29th August is celebrated as ‘National Sports Day’ to commemorate the birth anniversary of Dhyan Chand who is referred to as ‘The Wizard’ for his incredible hockey skills. The National Sports Day is an important day to promote the continued expansion of opportunities for every Indian to be involved in any sporting activity and live physically active lives. Sports give us a sense of identity and national pride. The day is considered to be an occasion for encouraging youngsters to take up various sporting activities as a profession and make a name for not only themselves but for their country as well. Widely considered as the greatest field hockey player of all time, Dhyan Chand is remembered for his leadership, extraordinary goal-scoring skills and his unbeaten records, which earned India three Olympic gold medals. He was the greatest hockey player India has ever seen.
His life was as inspiring as his legacy. We as aspiring entrepreneurs and innovators following our creative pursuits have a lot to learn from him. Hockey is our national sport but unfortunately the sport is not given its due. We need to bring back its lost glory. We need to build a sports culture in the country. We do not take sports as seriously as the other sporting nation do. Our sports persons do not get the respect that they deserve. No doubt, the government is doing its best to spread sports to every corner of the country by creating a nation-wide awareness about the fruitful side of sports but efforts need to be geared up to encourage people to practice a healthy and active lifestyle as the percentage of society active in sports is estimated at around 40 percent compared with 50 to 60 percent in developed countries. Our youths are to be made aware about the advancement of sports in the country and should also be motivated to make a successful career in different sports. The recent performance of Sakshi Malik, PV Sindhu and Dipa Karmakar in Rio Olympics reveals the fact that anybody who says women aren’t as athletic as men is obviously jealous of the incredible feats women have accomplished in Olympics. The number of female sports icons is continuously growing. The rise and rise of women in sports also mirrors the intense social churning in India. The performance all four women in Rio shows how they are severe risk takers and have a never-say-die determination and a seething killer instinct. More and more young girls want to break barriers and fulfill the same ambitions like men. There is no limit for women’s capacity, dedication and hard work. What they need is recognition, encouragement through incentives and family cooperation. Despite women’s progress, more must be done to increase the participation of women in Olympic/Sports. Today as India celebrates National Sports Day, let’s not forget those who followed their instincts and passion and mastered the sport, even during times which were far less favourable than it is nowadays.
Let us celebrate the day with an aim to instill a sense of love and respect towards sports in the minds of young children as well as educating them about one of the most significant sports personalities of India. Mighty India is capable of taking her rightful place in the world of sports.
Vinod Chandrashekhar Dixit
(The views expressed by the author in the article are his/her own.)