Just two days before the Union Budget 2017 was to be announced, the Sports Ministry of India announced an eight-man task force including the likes of Olympic gold medalist Abhinav Bindra and national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand but there was a not even a single mention of sport in Finance Minister Arun Jaitley’s speech in the Parliament.
This happened despite the Sports Ministry budget today got a substantial hike of Rs 350 crore in the union budget for 2017-18, presented by Finance Minister Arun Jaitley in the Parliament which is a clear indication that it is more of a liability for the government than a responsibility.
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After the sub-standard performance in the Rio Olympics in 2016 where India managed to win just 2 medals, Prime Minister Narendra Modi went out of his way to announce an eight-member task force to help the ‘effective participation’ in the next three Olympic Games: 2020, 2024 and 2028.
The move was welcomed by all the Sports lovers and even a single mention of it in the Union Budget would have been reassured government’s positive attitude towards improving India’s sports scene but that didn’t happen. No matter how many domestic leagues you have, India won’t become a strong sporting nation unless the government starts taking the infrastructure and facilities seriously.
It’s high time that India starts taking other sports than cricket seriously too and this will happen only if the government starts taking the necessary steps. Players just don’t want money, they want recognition, acknowledgement and little attention.