New Delhi Aug 9(ILNS): A Public Interest Litigation has been filed in the Supreme Court seeking directions to the Union of India for the advancement of Athletics Games/Sports played in Olympics and to provide the latest advanced training, Infrastructure, funds to our Sportsmen and built them so much efficient so that winning of Gold medals in Maximum Number in Future Olympics may not be a dream and our teams may perform best.
The PIL has been filed by Supreme Court Advocate Vishal Tiwari, In-Person.
According to the Petition, the history of hockey in India has been a source of pride for the entire country, in this sport, India has always been one of the greatest dominators of the game. However, it can be said with great misfortune that for 41 years India has not received any Olympic accolade from the game of hockey. In the Tokyo 2020 Olympics India was successful in securing the Bronze medal in Hockey after forty-one years. It makes sense for the entire nation, but we cannot be satisfied with this. Hockey needs to be declared Our National Game.
The Petitioner states that our country with more population and greater resources and talent in comparison to other Olympic playing nations has repeatedly stood with disappointment in the most competitive and giant tournament of the world. The fact that our country routinely struggles to win many medals at the Olympic Games, despite its enormous population of over 1.2 billion people.
A few basic questions raised by the Petitioner are:
1. Is the government policies and initiatives pertaining to sport productive and constructive for athletes to compete in the biggest forum?
2. Is the existing resources and facilities satisfactory enough in comparison to successful Olympic playing nations?
3. Does this situation of the Indian sports industry indicate that there should be increased accountability of the public money utilized on these games?
The current system demands a complete revamp, particularly in the fields of sports science and monitoring. While India is a superpower in cricket and has a track record of producing some of the world’s brightest minds and corporate leaders, it has struggled in other areas. While the athletics contingent has generated a lot of hype, India has a lengthy history of narrow victories in the sport that they will have to overcome, with no Indian athlete has ever won an Olympic medal in athletics, said the Petition.
It is highlighted in the Petition that this inability to compete with the best of the best on the greatest platform in the world is due to a lack of exposure to top-level competition, infrastructure, international level facilities, and training. When compared to countries like Grenada and Jamaica, which won a medal for every couple of hundred thousand people, India’s performance is abysmal. So, why is it that India isn’t punching above its weight?
The PIL alleged that discrepancy in the allocation of money arising from the government policies to the ground level stands as a greater question with no accountability. Despite its space program and growing population of billionaires, India remains a poor country in terms of per capita GDP, and sport has never been a government priority.
“At the Olympics, India has the lowest population to medals ratio. The country has only won 29 medals since its inaugural appearance at the Summer Games in 1900, including a silver in Tokyo. India has sent its largest delegation ever, with 120 athletes participating in 85 medal events. The country, on the other hand, has been here before. In 2016, India sent 117 athletes to Rio with the goal of capturing between 10 and 14 medals, however just two were won”, states the Petitioner.
Vishal Tiwari submitted that Covid, understandably, struck a devastating blow. Domestic athletic events were discontinued, and Indian athletes were mostly barred from participating in overseas training and tournaments. Sports in the nation have a bad image of being neglected and underfunded. Many competitors who have previously qualified for the Games have done so by paying for their own training or receiving substantial corporate sponsorships. Corruption, lack of transparency, and underutilization of resources, however, continue to be widespread and sports administration has resulted in this devastating performance of the Indian sports industry China and India are ranked 1 and 2 respectively on the population front. The two countries together constitute about 37% of humanity on the planet. When it comes to performance in sporting events though, India is nowhere close to China. A rigorous training regimen that begins as early as childhood has a significant influence on the development of a great athlete.
Petitioner further submitted that in China, children are forced to participate in physically and mentally demanding training modules. The youngsters register at one of numerous sports academies around the country, where they are taught for 8-12 hours a day, seven days a week. This not only instills discipline in children but also ensures that they improve day by day, finally becoming world champions in a few years. In this edition of the Olympics, the Indian men’s team with its dedication, hard work has bagged the bronze medal for the country to be proud of. The question lies in the fact that the gold medal has become a far-fetched dream for India in hockey and other sports of the Olympics.
The sovereign of the country in the past few decades has neglected this game in terms of providing facilities, infrastructure, and recognition on the world stage. This game, therefore, deserves the recognition of being called the national game of the country after considering its earlier dominance, success. The historical achievement of bringing in gold by youngster Neeraj Chopra in the Javelin games has made the whole country proud, this gold has greater significance because this is the first Olympics gold won by India after the 2008 Olympics and as such is the first field and track medal for Independent India. It is therefore a great accomplishment yet it is also quite disheartening to know that the youths of this generation don’t know the maximum of the games that are played in the Olympics, the PIL states.
Games like Javelin, Discuss throw are quite new for the new generations to pursue as their sports. Such is because of the reason that the government and other sports organizations of our country do not promote these games in bigger stages for the youths of our country to consider and support. The full broadcast of such games along with other promotional activities will make sure that talents come up from each and every corner of the country and such sports gets all their recognition. The schools and colleges of our country also do not inculcate sports education as a compulsory subject for the students. Be it private or government education schools, there remains no concern for sports to get promoted.
“The European countries, as well as developed countries from Asia such as China and Japan, inculcate sports in the initial years of student’s growth. Such helps the country to progress in such competitive competitions. Such inculcation of sports education with world-class facilities, infrastructure and correct use of public money is the immediate considerations which need to be looked into with greater prominence for the upliftment of the sports industry of the country The Respondents of our country should look into these factors and start taking the necessary steps for the betterment of the athletic community apart from cricket and should enhance the facilities and environment for the upliftment of the other areas of sports”, the Petition reads./ILNS/SS/SNG