The Minister for Road Transport and Highways, Mr. Nitin Gadkari, recently shared his perspective on how focused efforts are being made to create a sporting culture in the country.
In an exclusive chat with Indranil Basu on SK Live, Nitin Gadkari highlighted how backend infrastructure support will be crucial to athletes. Stressing on the importance of sports, Nitin Gadkari explained how participating in sports prepares a person to influence others, set realistic goals and solve problems efficiently to gain a competitive advantage.
Should sports be mandatory for students?
When asked if sports should be part of the educational curriculum, Nitin Gadkari replied:
"Sports help build good personality among athletes. Playing sports changes one's attitude and approach towards everything in life. It helps strengthen one's leadership potential. Athletes start encouraging and influencing team members to pursue team goals rather than individual praises. In fact, that is why we should make sports mandatory for students."
Nitin Gadkari explained how good teachers and proper grounds across the country will help budding youngsters find the right platform to showcase their talent. He also threw light on his vision of seeing Nagpur as a sports city and how he hopes to groom talent at the grassroots level.
"We have built around 130 stadiums in Nagpur. A lot of efforts have been put in to develop the city’s existing infrastructure. We want to develop Nagpur as a sports city, and we are working towards that mission."
Promoting sports other than cricket
The journey of a country towards emerging as a sporting powerhouse needs focused investing in a structured program directed towards grassroots sports development.
This will bring forth international sporting success, youth icons, Olympic glory and above all, national pride.
Unfortunately in India, sports other than cricket are not given much weightage as a career option. It is the apathy of corporates and wealthy individuals towards other sports that has to change.
Nitin Gadkari laid emphasis on how sponsors and federations should come forward and help encourage youth to pursue sports as a career with an opportunity to represent the country. He elaborated on the importance of promoting sports other than cricket.
"India has a great potential in sports. No sports can match up to the level of sponsors that cricket is offered. Our athletes can grow by leaps and bounds provided that there is support from the government and top industry officials. I believe we should do our bit to identify young sporting potential from poor socio-economic families and equip them with skills to become quality sportspersons."
This calls for a structured effort to broad-base sports & an increased participation at the grassroots level. It is only then that this can become a massive game changer for the Indian sporting scenario.