Comprehensive Sports Policy

Jammu and Kashmir, despite having tremendous potential for becoming a hub for sports, is nowhere on the sports map in the country and that is what should be rued. The fact that the Government ought to have done much in this aspect and contributed towards encouraging sports and sportspersons in a major way, is found wanting in both the requisite initiative and in building up of sports projects. While we have many reasons, admittedly cogent ones, to castigate the State Government’s apathy and indifference towards promoting sports, at the same time, we find that out of the three regions of the State (now only two from the current month end) , one region, ie; Kashmir where major talent exists but is scattered and not harnessed, is infested with Pakistan sponsored militancy and major part of the resources and the prioritised attention of the Government is towards fighting terrorism and related violence. As a consequential corollary, sports get neglected.
Having said all this, it cannot be deduced that sports in totality should be neglected to an extent of a sort of crisis visiting it permanently. A comprehensive and all encompassing sports policy should have been framed at least to follow a properly laid structure in implementation process to strive for achieving desired results. We know that a policy is a deliberate set of principles to guide our decisions to achieve rational results. It is a dotted line of path which we have to walk on. It is a statement of intent and is sought to be implemented as a protocol. So, even within an atmosphere of uncertainties and precariousness, a well knit policy comes handy, hence the need to have one in a comprehensive manner in respect of promoting sports in Jammu and Kashmir.
The crux of an exhaustive and all- inclusive Policy, broadly speaking, is creating promising cash prizes and jobs in Government to the promising sportspersons but having a peep into the affairs of sports in Jammu and Kashmir, it is astonishing to observe that prestigious sports awards like State Award, Sher-e-Kashmir Award and Purshotum Award announced by the then Government in 2016 in favour of deserving sportspersons comprising both players and coaches, have so far not been presented to them. How can, in such a situation, any of the sports disciplines get encouraged? On the other hand, about the facilities, trainings, coaching and erecting of other required infrastructure in Jammu and Kashmir for promoting sports and grooming upcoming sportspersons, less said the better. Governor, Satya Pal Malik had shown keen interest in doing a lot even out of box, for encouraging young people getting attracted to sharpen their sports talent and had promised to lend every possible support from the Government in this regard but on ground, nothing substantial has been done so far.
There was no dearth of young people with inclination and passion to play in Jammu and Kashmir and win laurels for not only the State but for the country as well. For that, agreeably, the players had to do a lot of hard work, attend dedicated practice sessions, undertake vigorous exercises and body toning but the Government remaining passive and un-cooperative by not organising competitions at district, regional and state levels and fixing medals for levels of performance supported by cash prizes, nothing could be achieved excepting lamenting about a process going to set in whereby even the interesting ones would start losing interest in sports. The onus on the Government to do much in this field is also on account of its obligations towards fighting the epidemic of drugs use among large number of the youth and incentives and allurements towards sports would, to an increasing extent, serve as a severe antidote to spreading of drugs menace .
The Prime Minister constantly makes the young people conscious of the fact that India was a country with huge young age group potential to do wonders, we are a nation of more young people and hence brimming with promise and aspirations and in that context, how can Jammu and Kashmir afford to lag behind in marking its place in sports in a significant way like our neighbouring states of Haryana, Punjab and others. Let a Draft Policy be at least framed, opinions and suggestions elicited to make it broad based and widely acceptable followed by its implementation. The day is not far when Jammu and Kashmir reserved its due place in the national sports map.