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Why Indian athletes are lagging behind their foreign counterparts

Proper infrastructure is needed to help Indian athletes An athelete needs good concentration, diet and proper training. These three things are mos ...

CONTRIBUTOR
18 Feb 2015, 11:45 IST
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Proper infrastructure is needed to help Indian athletes

An athelete needs good concentration, diet and proper training. These three things are most essential for an athelete to become the best in his field of sport. Now let me ask you a question do any of these three things are being enjoyed by our atheletes? NO.

Nutrition

Good, healthy nutritious food is very expensive in India. How will a rickshaw puller or welder spend Rs.50 per day on 1 litre of “adulterated” milk.  A recent test on milk samples in Jaipur, carried out by Food Safety and standards authority of india(FSSAI) showed over 76% of milk samples to be adulterated. In 400 litres of milk, over 100 litres of contaminants can be mixed. Milk is contaminated using detergent, fat, soda and urea besides traditional way of using water. Lot of food adulteration cases come up on daily basis. It is a big and profitable chain.

Drinking 1litre of milk which is probably adulterated, and only 600 ml out of 1 litre of milk is actually recieved by a boxers’s body is nothing when he is training 2 hours a day, and spending 2 hours a day in gym. And its not just milk, everything is adulterated. “Monocrotofos” is a chemical that is banned in many countries, traces of this pesticide was found in mid-day meal that killed atleast 23 children in Saran in July 2013. Pesticide such as “Pendimethalin” and “butachlor” which are banned in almost very country, is recommended by state government to farmers.

India is set to become world’s youngest country by 2020. A country which boasts of its man power, there is nothing to boast of when almost 40% of population of people between 13-35 years of age is sick, caused by adulterated food. The affect may not be seen now, but in a few years India has potential to be world’s sickest country.

Supplements

India is a country of youngsters, therefore market of bodybuilding supplement is big and still has lots of potential to grow. Athletes who cant get enough nutrition from raw food opt for protien supplements. These supplement companies use modern marketing techniques to trick these athletes into buying their supplements. In cupboard of an athlete, you will find more jars of supplements than actual raw food. Although supplements are not bad, but in today’s market, 90% of supplements are fake. There is no regulatory body in India to monitor these companies. Selling fake supplements is very profitable. They can be made for under Rs. 400 and can be sold for Rs. 4500.

These fake supplement dealers remain in contact with medical stores and gym trainers. Gym trainers lure young athletes into buying these supplements with a promise that they will grow big and strong. There are also many supplements like creatine, and testosterone boosters which these supplement companies claim to be not harmful, but testosterone is actually a steroid which have a long term affect.

Once you are on supplements, its very hard to get off these supplements as most brands have steroids mixed in their supplements. The “natural” best seller Craze, 2012’s “New supplement of the year” by bodybuilding.com was found to contain undisclosed amphetamine-like compund. International brands dump their low quality products in Indian market, as the market is big and there is no other substitute for it, their product is easily sold. These supplements have liver destroying compounds in them.

An athlete who is getting adulterated food and getting his liver destroyed in the process of getting nutrition from these supplements how will he be able to perform at his peak level

Training

You go to capital of Uttar Pradesh, and when you reach chowk stadium, which is the hub of football in Lucknow, there has been no football coach for over a year now It doesn’t matter if you are participating in U17 football world cup in 2017. What matters is producing good athletes which can only be done with proper technique and molding a athlete for his choice of sports since early age of 10-13.

But where will these young athletes go if there is no coach to mold them, our stadiums, our training methods are so bad that you cant even compare them to the west. Arsenal F.C has world class training center, it has ten full size pitches, an indoor facility, a medical and rehabilitaion center. You will not find that kind of training center in Uttar Pradesh. Government provides no medical facilities to its athletes unless he is an internationally well know athelete. What about a very good 15 years old footballer who sells tea at stall, or a boxer who is a rickshaw puller? Where will he get medical facility if he gets injured, you can even die while playing and no ambulance will come to take you to the hospital.

Finance minister allocated 400 crore for sports development in India, but there is no proper method to use this money. Massive budgets are made for sports deveopment in India for over a decade and there is still no substantial growth. Athletes still complain of lack of training facilities and proper nutrition. Ministers complain about low budget allotment for sports by the government. 

Sports development is directly related to economic devepment of a country. Growing your GDP does not give you good sportsmen, or feed the poor,or reduce inequality in income. It does not stop food adulteration, when our own government is recommending banned pesticides to farmers, there is very little we can do to stop this. And India will always continue to produce athletes who will fail at international level.

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