The Union Sports Ministry is implementing a number of important schemes for promotion of sports in the country by developing rural and urban sports infrastructure, competition events and financial assistance for youth development activities.
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal told reporters on 3rd Jan that the main intention was to make the sports facilities available, particularly in the rural areas to encourage sports talent there.
“To make sports a way of life, help the youth in nation and character building process, improve physical and mental health and inculcate the good values of human life”, This is the aim Sonowal said. The ministry proposed to construct a Sports Complex in each block of the country at a cost of Rs 1.60 crore, under the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA).
The funds for the RGKA will be arranged in convergence with the MGNREGA and the ministries of Rural Development, Panchayat, DONER and Planning Commission to build indoor and outdoor sports infrastructure in the 7000 plus blocks across the country, Sonowal said. In addition, the Department of Sports will provide Rs 15 lakh for sports equipment for each block complex, Sonowal said, adding, in the case of the North East states the funds will be arranged in convergence with DONER ministry. The Minister also said Physical Education teachers would be appointed and he would take up the matter with the Union Human Resource Development Ministry for giving marks for sports. As part of the National Sports Talent Search Scheme, Sonowal said competitions would be held for 8-12 year students and all possible support would be provided to them, including nutritious food, equipment, training and institutional support.
The National Youth Festival will be held in Guwahati from January 8 till 12th with Delhi University, Jawaharlal Nehru University, IIT, IIM students among others taking part in the event to be attended by boxer Mary Kom, cricketer Virender Sehwag, wrestler Sushil Kumar, amputee Himalayan conqueror Arunima Sinha, the minister said.
Sonowal said, Himalayan Region Sports Festival would also be held here in April next with teams from Nepal, Bhutan, Jammu and Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, NE states and Sikkim demonstrating indigenous games and martial arts, besides participating in archery, athletics, boxing, football, judo, taekwando and wrestling. The SAARC games have been decided to be held in Guwahati, as informed by The Indian Olympic Association to his ministry, he said.
Stating the SI centres would be upgraded, Emphasis would be laid on opening sports medicine and sports science Centres in the NE region, he said.