Creation of sports infrastructure

Union Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports is liberal in extending financial assistance to states and Union Territories where schemes and plans are tailored to create necessary top notch infrastructure for promoting sports and sports talent. The fact that in Jammu and Kashmir, there was no dearth of adequate sports talent has not been explored and utilised to further the scope of sports of different hues. We have remained quite behind even during the last few years when the country made steady progress in the field of sports with potential to showcase at the global level too wherein our Union Territory could have carved out its own niche . Such an attitude and mindset of the authorities concerned has resulted in being able to obtain merely Rs.8.80 crore under the prestigious scheme known as “Khelo India Scheme” and that too since 2016-17 and not be in a position to be beneficiary in a major form befitting its size and potential. Continuous poor performance under the said scheme has not only remained confined to a year or so but on continuous basis. “Khelo India”, an athlete centric scheme, otherwise, is comprehensive in nature to promote and encourage sports.
An uncalled for approach , if not attitude willy-nilly, of the Government and concerned authorities has resulted in a number of young talent being deprived of the much needed facilities in moulding and shaping fine their skills in their respective fields of sports. Perhaps, Jammu and Kashmir is one of those top places in India where sports are given least attention and importance. In more than one form, in fact, there are such instances where on the contrary sports excellence and sports initiatives have been discouraged. The glaring example is about denial of jobs in Government services of those sportspersons from Jammu and Kashmir who have excelled in sports and in whose favour awards too were announced. What is the vision document with the administration , in the absence of building up the requisite sports infrastructure, towards inculcating a strong spirit of participation in sports that enables sportspersons to demonstrate their prowess and skill and how could Jammu and Kashmir mark its imprint on the sports map of the country , let alone at international levels, is difficult to comprehend.
On the other hand, whatever financial assistance has been provided , even until now in most of the cases , utilization certificates have not been submitted and even in this simple paper work too , lethargy and recklessness are galore which may be due to the funds in question having been not spent or if spent , the end use having been other than purported . In its absence, how could the Union Ministry have been expected to be inclined to extend any further doses of financial assistance for promoting sports? Again, the seriousness of the purpose of the administration can be gauged by the fact that as against nine proposals having been sent to the Union Ministry for creating of sports infrastructure under the very scheme of Khelo India Scheme at different locations in Jammu and Kashmir, four projects which were sanctioned , the Ministry has found that the progress on three projects was zero while as in respect of the fourth one, it was a paltry 25 percent. How could in such a situation , the budding talent among the youth of the UT be diverted towards excellence and pure professionalism in respective sports disciplines ?
A complete review of the goings on in the area of sports, in its promotion, training , excellence , facilities of quality coaching and erecting of other infrastructure is long overdue wherein thrust should be on innovative measures to be taken, risks and investments of varied hues notwithstanding. Sports culture needs to encouraged at gross roots levels wherein from every tehsil and district , sports talent must be searched with intent to sharpen their techniques and skills. A status quo ante or a state of inertia in sports should be replaced by perceptible solid Action Plan.