Indian sports culture discussed in the UN Assembly
S Srinivas Prasad, Minister in India's Permanent Mission to the UN, feels that resolute action must be taken to protect the spirit of sport.
In a bid to prevent corruption, violence and drug abuse from pervading the world of sports, India has called for concerted action stressing on promoting a culture of sports to help build peace amongst human beings and nations.
According to a report in the Times of India, at a General Assembly session on 'Sports for Peace and Development', S Srinivas Prasad, Minister in India's Permanent Mission to the UN, said, "Sport is a reflection of the society. The degeneration of values in the society- violence, corruption, hooliganism, deception and drug abuse have been noticed raising their heads in sport.”
Prasad stressed on the need for “concerted vigil and resolute action” to prevent intrusion of such ills of the society and to protect the Olympic Games and other sports’ “noble ideals and spirit.”
He said that the numerous sporting events have served to bring human beings and countries together and collectively uplift the human spirit. Nonetheless, sporting events have also been used for political ends.
Prasad also cited India’s example saying that the national teams in sports such as cricket and hockey have reflected the diverse nature of the country’s population. Although each of the players belongs to a different culture and speaks a different language, they unite to play together as one team.
He also singled out how India’s sports policy focused on broad basing of spots and to develop better infrastructure which would draw the interest of the youth from both metro cities and rural areas.
Prasad lauded the exceptional performances by the sportspersons of the country, especially the women, in the Rio Olympics. However, he did acknowledge that much needs to be done for a better performance.
He spoke about how the performances of wrestler Sakshi Malik, shuttler PV Sindhu and gymnast Dipa Karmakar have "in their own ways conveyed the exciting story of women's empowerment in India." He said that the young sports stars had "endeared themselves with their courageous performance at the world stage despite the odds that they have faced in life.”
While Sakshi Malik is an embodiment of the determination of women from the rural areas of the country overcoming a conservative and patriarchal society, Dipa Karmakar, on the other hand, highlights the determination of women from rural India to take up a sport in spite of a lack of opportunities and facilities.
“Their stories and exploits in the Olympics have resonated across India, making the Rio Olympics both a stage and a booster for women's empowerment in India," he said.