Provide jobs to first-rate sportspersons

The issue is whether sports are played only for eking out a livelihood and carving out a career or as a passion or as a contribution towards the fame and glory of the concerned sport, least in expectation of getting cash rewards, presents , luxurious items of use, plots , flats and plum postings in Government departments and Public Sector Undertakings. The other part of the story is that whether enough attention was being given towards training upcoming sportsperson and whether adequate investments in high degree coaching and allied facilities were made in our sportspersons to make them capable enough to win international events and do proud to the country. Well, although much is being done , yet enough remains to be done when a comparison was made with countries like Japan, China , South Korea , Germany to name a few among many.
When we talk of performance in sports , we must bear in mind international events like Olympics. Since 1900 , India has won only 28 medals in as many as 24 Olympic games it has participated in, comprising nine gold, six silver and 11 bronze only. It is another thing that we are planning to notch at least 50 medals in 2024 Olympics perhaps only by employing innovative and changed policies with newer and need based approaches. Too much of attention towards cricket has cost us dearly in the shape of neglecting other sports though in shooting , wrestling and badminton our sportspersons have marvelled exclusively due to their own efforts. P.V. Sindhu created recently history of sorts to become first Indian and first Indian woman sportsperson to win gold in BWF World Championship. How much has Sindhu been encouraged by showering prizes , rewards, and the like is in itself quite interesting. The fact of the matter is that the later followed and not preceded the former. The moral of the story is “You perform” and see later how gloriously you are ” crowned”.
There is another face of the picture of sports and sportspersons and that is in Jammu and Kashmir which is in more vivid but questionable form. The State Governments in the past , for various reasons, had been making claims that services of outstanding sportspersons in the State had been properly utilized. There was an SRO under no.349 dealing with the subject which for the last more than 5 years has not been implemented which in other words was tantamount to depriving meritorious sportspersons from being engaged in State and Central Government departments. Most of them are still unemployed and the Governor’s administration too is found wanting in taking concrete steps to employ them. They could be easily and conveniently employed in Police, Sports, Forest and other allied Departments and organisations. In a state where boys and girls are scurrying and are hard pressed to get a park or a field to play and where most of the schools and colleges have grounds and space for name sake for undertaking activities of playing of sports, the future of rolling out of outstanding sportspersons was hazy if not out of question.
The scenario needs not to be seen from one angle only . What is the benchmark or the levels of sports dexterity to claim a sportsperson to be outstanding or “iconic ” in Jammu and Kashmir. Whether a mention of that criterion is anywhere made to contest the Government’s apathy towards the sportspersons. Is that the reason that for the last five years or so, leaving the State departments , even the Central Government departments like the Defence Accounts Department, Accountant General’s department etc are not employing any of the ‘outstanding’ sportspersons of Jammu Kashmir and Ladakh ? Moreover, what is the present status of the dispute between the Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council and the players on the issue of awarding points to the outstanding players. Again, is the State Government regularly coming out with the list on annual basis of such sportspersons from the state who earned laurels in national and international events ? What about the issue of advertising exclusively posts ‘earmarked’ for the outstanding sportspersons by the State Government.
Whatever the position, the scenario is destined to change for the better only after Jammu and Kashmir earned the status of the Union Territories with effect from November 1 whereby uniform policy of employing sportspersons in Government departments and PSUs as applicable to rest of the states would also be applicable to the new and the youngest but largest Union Territories of Jammu and Kashmir as also Ladakh. More facilities, expert training and coaching , incentives and opportunities to upcoming sportspersons will herald a new chapter in the entire scenario. The premise being that there is no dearth of excellent talent in Jammu and Kashmir.