‘Previous Govts ignored Ladakh’
Excelsior Sports Correspondent
LEH, Sept 14: Accusing previous Governments of neglecting the Ladakh region in all spheres of development including sports despite the fact that the region has a great talent, Union Minister of Youth Services and Sports, Kiren Rijiju today said that there should be no further delay in this regard.
Talking to reporters at the sidelights of laying foundation of various sports facilities costing over Rs 12 crore here, today Rijiju alleged that earlier Governments did not pay attention to development of infrastructure for sports in Ladakh region to promote the talent of players. This way the sports persons of the region were deprived of competing with other States and UTs of the country. “However, the old mistakes should not be repeated now and instead we should pay attention of building sports infrastructure and promotion of talent in this region”, he added.
Maintaining that Ladakh has a lot of talent and potential, he said the region should now not lag behind other parts of the country and expressed the hope that with Narendra Modi Government giving boost to sports activities in this region, sports persons from Ladakh will now participate in Olympics soon.
Earlier Rijiju laid foundation stones for various sports facilities costing over Rs 12 crore in Leh, in the presence of Lieutenant Governor of Ladakh, RK Mathur. The Minister laid foundation for a Synthetic Track & Astroturf for football in Leh at Open Stadium. The estimated project cost is 10.68 crore and scheduled to be completed by January, 2021. Similarly, construction of Gymnasium Hall in NDS Indoor Stadium would cost about 1.52 crore rupees and construction will be completed by March 2021.
Speaking on the occasion, Kiren Rijiju said that under the leadership of PM Modi, the Union Government is inculcating a sporting culture in the country which in turn is keeping the people healthy and fit. He said that his Ministry is contemplating to put sporting culture into a policy frame work. The Minister said that Khelo India, University Games and Winter Games at various places of the country are encouraging the students, youth and people to participate in sporting activities. The Sports Minister emphasized the importance of Sports and highlighted the efforts of Government to establish the predominance of India in the world sports events.
He said Ice Hockey which is very popular in the region would soon be recognized by the National Sports Federation and separate funds will be allocated to promote the game to an international standard. `
“Ladakh has the potential to become the sporting powerhouse of India and the Union Government is committed to promoting world class sports infrastructure in the UT”, Rijiju said.
Rijiju suggested Ladakh UT Administration to constitute awards and incentives like jobs for local sports persons to encourage them to excel in the sporting field. He also asked the Ice Hockey Associations across the country to come together to get the recognition for the sport, by following the laid down procedures. He reminded the federations that in principle his Ministry has recognized Ice Hockey as national sport.
For sports infrastructure and development in Ladakh, Kiren Rijiju announced relaxations at the function. He asked the UT administration to send proposals to develop sporting infrastructure in places with a thousand population in Ladakh. Under Khelo India programme, his Ministry would relax the norms and provide funds and the facilities meant for districts in the places suggested by the Administration as Khelo India district sub centres. Similarly, sportspersons excelled in local events would get training in 23 centres of excellence across the country, depending on their sporting disciplines.
Speaking on the occasion, Ladakh Lieutenant Governor, RK Mathur appealed to the Sports Minister to tap the potential in Ladakh for sports development. He suggested that during the Winters, people from other parts of the country should come to Ladakh to experience and learn winter sports.
As part of month and half long Fit India Freedom Run from August 15 to October 2, the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju personally participated in cycle race earlier in the day along with MP Jamyang Namgyal and local cyclists.
Besides Lt Governor Ladakh, R K Mathur, M P Jamyang Tsering Namgyal , Chief Executive Councilor, LAHDC, Leh, Gyal P Wangyal and senior civil and police officers attended the function.
The Minister also presented sports kits under Khelo India to the sports persons on the occasion.