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Olympic Games should not be bygones for people in India!
In the wake of terrible run for medal-tally and mediocre performance by Indian athletes at 2016 Rio Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government has announced a work-plan to increase the competence of Indian athletes for the next three Olympic Games.

Indian athletes again failed to excel and achieve much in Olympics 2016 due to want of proper training and capabilities required to compete with their rivals. Decade by decade, Olympic Games have been becoming past events where Indian athletes continue to remain underdogs! Besides, Indian athletes, on an average, lag behind their competitors by 30-40 years in every individual game event if Olympic records and World records are taken into account since Indian athletes have yet not reached those records achieved 30-40 years back!

At the same time, unsuccessful pursuits in every Olympic Games and other World Sporting Events are put aside in oblivion once the events are over. Athletes, in other countries which are doing better in medal tally, start their training at much young age as soon as they start their primary schooling.

Government's average spending in Britain on raising one athlete for an individual Olympic game through training, equipment, sports facilities, and bringing competition, is 48 crore rupees - equivalent to 7 million US dollars. The neighboring China spent about 14,500 crore rupees (nearly two billion US dollars) on training and raising athletes through competition for the Rio Olympics.

A country like India whose annual budget is nearly USD 240 billion (16,00,000 crore rupees), spending USD two billion in four-to-eight year time period on raising quality sportspersons cannot cause deficit in rest of the budget. For decades, various governments in India lacked intent and willingness to work out long-term plans and create sporting culture in the country.

For a long period, India's politicians and bureaucrats have been living with attitude that sports are not important for the country and it does not contribute to progress of the country's economy whereas an athlete is a burden on the country's budget who should achieve such sports goals by his or her personal capabilities mainly, without seeking rigorous training and raising programs.

It is important to note that sports, art and culture are not waste of time and money but they generate a lot of revenues and create job opportunities in many industrial sectors. Consider the case of Indian Premier League (IPL) which is generating tremendous revenues every year as well as giving boom to sports-related industries which in turn is producing bumper jobs in the market.

Sectors involved in organising matches to maintenance of stadiums to sale of miscellaneous products, hotel-industry, tourism, infrastructure development, and other sectors as well in together are getting boom and causing enormous job-generation in the country during a sports event such as IPL.

There should be a protocol in the country that every school, college, big industrial organisation in the country must have adequate sporting facilities and enough training staffs. Every kid, scholar, and member below the age of 20 should join a sports category and dedicate part of school time or work-time in getting accurate training and competing into inter-sports events compared to playing sports only. 

The output of a sportsperson should be added as good credit points for passing exams or getting promotions in employment. A school, college, and industrial organisation should be awarded appropriately with grants and incentives from government according to medals won in inter-sports events.

Each district and state in the country must have large sports complexes employing all training and residential facilities for sportspersons having a lot of promise. Union government and state governments must provide accurate and competing scholarships to sportspersons who receive training at district, state, and national levels according to their performance in winning medals at district, state, and national levels.

Government must understand that competitive sports can be played only up to certain age in a person's life whereas formal education up to graduation can be obtained any time in one's life. Thus, promising kids and youths must be given opportunity and facilities to demonstrate their capabilities in sports first. At the same time, those sportspersons, who could not qualify to compete in sports at state and national levels, should be provided entry and maintenance for joining school and college again to complete their formal education.

A promising sportsperson, exhibiting talent and winning medals regularly at school and college levels, must be raised further through rigorous training programs, maintenance, and scholarships for not less than 8-12 years till he or she is shortlisted to represent the country in international sports events. Sportspersons representing a state or the country should also be awarded with jobs in adequate quantity once they quit sports and appropriately according to their education or once they complete their formal education.

A sportsperson, who represented a state or a country, is an asset to the country and to the society also. Merit and honesty shown in sports by a sportsperson can be utilized further for benefits of the society. No doubt, a qualified sportsperson, who has gone through rigorous training programs, always contains virtues like arduousness, effectiveness, competency, moral uprightness, persistence, dedication, compassion, friendliness, and sportsmanship much more than a normal person.

UPSC and other administrative job-recruiting agencies must employ qualified sportspersons in administrative jobs through sports-quota and in sufficient number in place of recruiting civil servants through certain competitive exams.

India is always ranked at the bottom in the category of the least corrupt countries and one of the major reasons behind this evil is want of integrity, competency, and sportsmanship in people. Since people and kids do not play sports at regular basis and with competency, they are not inculcated with qualities like skillfulness, proficiency, and sportsmanship and so they avoid fairness in their business or profession and circumvent responsibilities in their duties.

With competitive sports and sportsmanship instilled in every citizen, India can achieve much more overhauling in the economy and in our system than what one expects. Ministry of Human Resource Development and Ministry of Sports in Union government and various ministry of education in state government must spend few billion dollars extra on sports and training of sportspersons every year. 

Not only the country will witness huge economic progress and improved competency of the people, but also the country will see abrupt upgrading in medal tally at international sports events that include Olympic Games too!

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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