New Sports policy of U’khand evokes mixed public response

Thursday, 25 November 2021 | PNS | Dehradun

The much awaited Sports Policy 2021 was approved by the Uttarakhand cabinet on Tuesday. In the draft of the policy several measures have been taken to sharpen the budding sporting talent in the state. The Sports Minister Arvind Pandey said that the government will be selecting 300 children aged between 8 to 14 years old from every district of the state every year. A Physical and Aptitude Test (PSAT) will be conducted to identify the sporting talent among them and sharpen it. These children will also get a scholarship of Rs 1500 per month. Similar process will be followed for 200 players between 14 to 23 years of age in every district and they would be paid a scholarship of Rs 2000 per month. The selected youngsters will also get sports kits, tracksuits and other tools and equipment related to the games they play.  All these facilities will be given under the Mukhya Mantri Udayiman Khiladi Unnayan Yojana. He also added that players who will get gold, silver and bronze medals in the Olympics will get Rs 2 crores, 1.5 crores and 1 crore respectively. In addition to this the medal winners of national and international sporting events will be provided appointment in the group B and C grade posts in government departments of the state. He also said that the sports persons will also get a sports quota of five per cent in educational institutions and expansion of sports infrastructure all over the state, he said.

People of the state gave mixed opinions when asked to comment on the new sports policy. Football Coach and Referee Virendra Singh Rawat said, “This policy is a ploy to win the upcoming elections. A sports policy was in force at a time when Uttarakhand was part of Uttar Pradesh and it should have been continued upon the separation of the state.’’  He added that sports players are migrating and representing other states due the absence of a proper sports policy for so long.

 Retired Chief Football Coach (Sports Authority of India) Dayal Singh Rawat suggested some improvements in this new policy. He said, “Instead of focusing on multiple games, more focus should be on the result oriented games.” He also said that the government should focus on the popular sports in different districts like in Pithoragarh boxing is more popular with youngsters. He added that the complaint of most of the players is that though the policies are made they are not being followed on the ground level therefore this should also be looked into.

 A young and promising athlete of Dehradun said that the policy announced seems good on paper but whether it will get implemented or not that will be seen in the future. The sports policy was also announced in 2017 and 2018 but implementation was not done. Therefore, seeing the past experience, it is not wrong to say that after the announcement everybody is waiting for the implementation of the policy.

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