Despite being the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, establishing a structure that promotes a culture of sports has been more difficult than most would expect. At a national level, the focus just hasn’t been there in the past. For a multitude of reasons, sports infrastructure, especially for the youth, has been very low on the list of priorities. With Narendra Modi now the new leader of the Indian government, expectations are at an all-time high.
“Abhishek (Bachchan) is supporting kabaddi and then the tennis league will happen,” explained Suniel Shetty, Indian film actor, producer and entrepreneur.
“The new government should also be concerned about sports. I believe if football, hockey and cricket [...] all the sports are given a boost, then it can create an alternate career option for children.”
When campaigning for his position, Modi, India’s current Prime Minister, proposed an idea that athletes should be treated “at par” when it comes to training.
“Sportspersons should be treated like a soldier,” said Deepa Malik, para-athlete. “Modi ji said that sportspersons’ status should be at par with soldiers and defence personnel of the country. The way they dedicate their life by sacrificing their family and time to the security of the country, similarly a sportsperson also undergoes rigorous training schedule, sacrifices a lot of things to win a medal for the country.”
By having a leader who consciously support the growth of sports, expect there to be many future doctors, scientists, artists and now athletes from India.