By Shweta Lohia:
When we think of the word ‘sports’ we construe it as a past-time, a means of leisure and a key to fitness, but do we think of it as a career? It is estimated that out of ten people only one aspires to take up sports as a career. When asked why, the apparent answer we get is “there is no scope“. When we dig deeper, we get to know that people consider sports as an activity that is limited to school and nobody goes beyond that to think of it as a means of earning ones daily bread. Parents refrain from encouraging their children from opting for sports as a career and teachers also lay more emphasis on studies. Sports do not command the same amount of respect as studies. But for people like Unmukt Chand; The 19-year-old failed to attain the minimum attendance required by his college because of his tournaments, but after much debate, he was allowed to sit for the examinations. This instils a hope that the times are changing, the old notions are fading away and new ones are being adopted. The government of India has also introduced various incentives for the promotion of sports such as the ‘Come and Play‘ scheme.
We might have a lot of Dhonis but it’s difficult to find more Mary Koms and Sania Nehwals owing to the gender discrimination that has paved its way into sports. Sports and women are the two opposite ends of a pole. The society does not encourage girls to be an active part of sports, moreover they are considered to be delicate creatures and their potential in sports is questioned.
Despite its huge population, India is almost always at the bottom in the Olympics medal tally because of the lack of facilities provided. The dreams of sportspersons of winning medals for India at the Olympics are shattered as they are not provided with proper resources. India still lacks good coaches, proper infrastructure and other helpful schemes which the government can provide, hence the failure to acquire medals.
Yuvraj Singh is back on the field: The former fought cancer like a hero and is now ready to make India proud on the cricket field, once again. Such stories motivate the youth and they aspire to be like such people. Thus the media plays a very important role in helping sports become more popular. The failures and successes of a sports star from a particular sport often highlight that sport. But it breaks my heart to see that cricket is hyped everywhere, be it on news channels, newspapers, magazines and in movies such as Lagaan and Patiala House to name a few.
You must have played Cricket at least once in your life. But did Hockey, Tennis or even Swimming appeal to you as much as Cricket did? Since childhood, you must have read about it, listened to the commentaries, seen it, written about it and of course, played it. This is due to the fact that Cricket in India has been promoted to a great extent. Now if one wants to become a cricketer, nothing is going to shatter his dream, but if he wants to become a swimmer, then it is next to impossible. The onus is on the government to promote each sport equally via various events, schemes and scholarships. Only then India can produce more of Sanias and Sanias along with the Sachins and Sehwags.