India is unfair to its sports persons


We have to realize that ‘India’ does not just mean the governmental institutions that govern India; it is in fact made up of the 1.2 billion people that call India home. So when we are debating whether India is unfair to its sportspersons we have to recognize that it is also the people of India who are going to be either fair or unfair, not just the government. The multitude of scams and scandals that have rocked Indian sports in recent times have in fact little to do with being unfair to the sportspersons. That aspect has more to do with bad governance or corruption more than anything else. We have to realize that there are two aspects to this issue. One is about the government and the other is about the people. In the course of this debate we will venture to prove to you that we are indeed very fair to our sportspersons. Let me tell you how: 1. Government schemes exist that provide employment to sportspersons. The jobs that they are expected to do there are tailor made to suit their training schedules. a. Did you know that Captn. Yuvaraj Singh is now a senior general manager at Air India?? But then you’d argue that it is only the cricket people in this cricket crazy nation that get all the facilities – which is totally wrong. This is actually the case of selective coverage by the media which covers news that sells. That however is a topic for another debate!! b. Even in the education sector there is a sports quota for school going sportspersons. c. The entire sports complexes @ venues of the common wealth games and the Asian games have been opened up to the general public under various schemes like the CAP scheme at very nominal rates. I admit that there were crooks involved in building some of these stadiums and some of the equipment is substandard but that is to be blamed upon the corrupt system and NOT the alleged unfairness towards them. 2. Now let us look at how the people treat our sportspersons fairly. A chess champion is usually considered a genius irrespective of his national standing. And I need not say this but cricketers are demi gods in this country. People always make exceptions for you if you are a local sports star and have maybe missed your last train to the competition venue. So when it comes to all the stories in media about the pathetic conditions in which some sportspersons have to train, live and compete, we have to realize that no system is perfect and the failings that the sports system in India has are the trappings of any system that tries to cater to the needs of 1.2 billion people. Thank you. Saina Nehwal, Mampi Das – Shooter, Sushil Kumar – Wrestling, MC Mary Kom – Boxing, Vishwanathan Anand

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