In my humble opinion, India can deliver such a performance if proper
steps are taken and root cause of this failure is addressed. It will take a collective effort from all the stakeholders involved and though the task seems difficult, it is not impossible at all. What we need is just proper planning and timely implementation in a bottom- up approach. The change should start from our families. Our society has a habit of looking upon games and sports in a condescending manner and think that there is no career involved in these activities. The moment a child is born, the parents start hoping that he/ she will grow up to become a doctor/ engineer/ CA etc. When the child grows up they are under immense pressure to excel academically and even though they are extremely talented and interested in any sporting activity, they are not given the sufficient amount of support. The only exception to this rule is cricket and though cricket is often blamed to have destroyed other sports, the fact remains that cricket is a classic example of the fact that if sufficiently promoted; other sports can also make our country proud. So, the first thing is that our society needs to change its mindset. The next change should come in the educational institutions at all the levels. If schools and colleges have proper infrastructure in the form of playgrounds, sporting equipments, trainers etc. and if it provides ample opportunities to its students right from a small age, we can pick up the talented ones at the nascent stage and groom them in the right direction. Such talented children should be provided all the possible help be it relaxation in attendance; grace marks in the examinations and reservation in higher institutions on the basis of sports quota. This is necessary to assure them that they are not loosing upon their career in this world of cut- throat competition. Though, such provisions are available in many of our institutions, the need is to make such provisions more robust. The next and probably the biggest stakeholder is the government. When it comes to promoting sports in the country, the successive governments have adopted a very myopic and one- dimensional approach. While the cricketers have been made the blue- eyed boys of the country, the support extended to other athletes leaves much to be desired. So while it is perfectly fine to modify the rules and confer Bharat Ratna to Sachin
Tendulkar, it is not right to ignore the contributions of someone like Vishwanathan Anand or say a Dhanraj Pilley. The sportspersons are entitled to government jobs based on their achievements, but as it stands out, the best of the jobs go the the cricketers. As a result, we often hear of past athletes selling their medals to arrange food and other goods of basic necessities. There is a urgent need to provide proper training facilities and other material support to hockey, football, kabaddi, basketball etc if we seriously intend to make a mark in the Olympic events.
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