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There's so much of cash for cricketers, but what about other sportsmen in India
When a sports person like shooter like Bindra or Rai are felicitated by the government and gets a cash award of Rs 50 lakh or a crore the media gasps in awe, without bothering to realise that there are super rich cricketers in this country who do not even know how many crores they have earned.

The system of auctioning sportsmen through the IPL and the IBL, which of late also been introduced in professional Kabaddi still leaves certain fields unaddressed. Money is pouring in into these sports and there is sponsorship coming in them. Apart from Cricket, Tennis and Golf are the other entries that have few sponsors. The poorest of the lot are the wrestlers, the weightlifters, the boxers and the bodybuilders who earn the most Golds and Silvers for the nation.

The difference between the situation in India and in the United States is that a bodybuilding star can become the Governor of California and he will continue to endorse bodybuilding, but when a wrestler and bodybuilder becomes a chief minister as in the case of Uttar Pradesh, he may or may not promote wrestling and bodybuilding as a sport. Can Mulayam Singh Yadav start an Indian Wrestling League?

To assess the expenses that go into a sport like shooting and compare it with cricket we can start off by looking at the price of a firearm and a bat. While a bat may cost a few thousands the cheapest air pistol for a precision shooter will be around Rs 1.5 lakh. Similarly a wrestler and a weightlifter will require a special diet which could run up a bill of several lakh rupees a year.

To improve the health of children, schools are supposed to take several steps including the mid-day meal which has proven to be far more hazardous for health than a health giving agent. Schools are also supposed to promote sports but several schools have become teaching shops due to the high cut offs in the University system endangering both sports and mental and physical health. So does our entire system of education therefore need a revamp?

The easy way out to promote sports lies in encouraging sponsorship of sports but industrial houses tend to fight shy of promoting sports because they feel they will not get their money's worth in investing in sports like weightlifting, boxing and bodybuilding, which are today supposed to be the poor man's sports in India.

A major government intervention is therefore required to uplift these sports and merely setting aside small grants or scholarship programmes may not be sufficient. Therefore can government make changes in tax incentives to promote sports, say give corporate bodies a major tax relief on the money they spend on promoting sports - specifically the sports listed above - as a fiscal incentive to promote the poor man's sports?

There have been many sportsmen who have had to fight for their existence in the world.

The gladiators literally died for their sport in ancient Rome and wrestlers and bodybuilders were idolised in Greece. The sport of weightlifting originated in the west and so did boxing, while martial arts in many forms came up from the Orient. All these sports have created legends in their own areas, which have died out for want of money to support them in India.

Which Indian child will today know the penury that hockey stars in India may have had to face? What has happened to the wrestling legends of India? It is well known that Khali -- today a rich American wrestling star -- was a poor stone crusher in a village in Haryana or Punjab.

Indian society has only glamorized cricket. The attempt to add Badminton by introducing the same process to the sport bringing in the Indian Badminton League has been the brainchild of the son of a former chief minister of Uttar Pradesh Babu Banarasi Das. His son, a Rajya Sabha member, Akhilesh Das Gupta has made it his life's mission to improve the status of badminton players as he was an ardent badminton player himself. But the effort comes solely from Gupta and had he not taken the initiative badminton players would have been remaining out of the limelight.

Kabaddi is another exciting sport which has a lot of action to it. So does bodybuilding. But which child in India will know that despite financial difficulties India has provided a Mr Universe in Monotosh Roy and Moloy Roy to the world.

The tragedy of the matter is that while Salman Khan and Amir Khan are both admired for their muscles, they are not considered bodybuilders, weightlifters or wrestlers even though they would never have reached the thespian peak they have without the science of bodybuilding being what it is today in India. This is solely due to the untiring efforts of an American coach known as Joe Weider who is now dead.

Today Indian sportsmen are like the Expendables they need a Stallone read Rocky Balboa, to bring them on a common platform to lobby for their cause. They may find a benefactor in the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh as the RSS stands for the promotion of physical health as well and so does the Constitution of India.

Will PM Narendra Modi being a former Sangh Pracharak look into the matter too, as being a former head of Cricket in Gujarat he must know that the other sports are not so well looked after. Otherwise only former cricketers will be able to buy houses in Nizamuddin East in Delhi. The rest will spend their days wishing they had never won medals.

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