GRIM REALITY OF SPORTS IN INDIA
Sport refers to an activity that involves physical and mental abilities. Sports have always been a vital part of human lives. Sports in India range from traditional, common, and famous sports like kabaddi, cricket, hockey, etc., and some other sports which are not known to many people. India has performed tremendously in the realm of sports and has been hosting plenty of domestic and international sports events as well. It has earned many awards in global spaces like the Olympics, commonwealth games, etc. In addition, India encourages the youth and has opened various universities for the same.
There have been multiple moments of glory in the history of Indian sports. One such instance was in 1952, when Khashaba Jadhav became the first Indian to win an individual Olympic medal for India. In 1972, India won the world cup of hockey against Malaysia. In 1980, Prakash Padukone won the All England Badminton Title. In 1983, the cricket world cup and so on.
Despite everything, India still lacks in the area. India faces problems that are still unrecognized and are not acted upon, even if recognized. The roots of the issues are hard to reach consideration yet can be done. The problems start and keep going on and probably never end. However, recognition is our duty, and acting on them is our right; hence let us move on to the grim reality of sports in India.
Issue number 1. Charity begins at home, and probably problems too
Indian Parents- The epitome of care and love. Sometimes, it increases so much that they tend to make decisions for us and decide what is right or wrong. They are our parents and want to help us grow into independent individuals and want our future to be secure; hence they consider that sports are risky for their children and constraint in the journey of sports life, unknowingly.
Another reason for not supporting sports as a career in Indian parents could be not being aware and ignorant regarding sports as a career. They are unaware of how great sports can be as a career and how many gates it opens for us in other fields. Most Indian parents have not seen many successful examples in our country, which makes them doubt their children are getting into sports. Many people have seen a few celebrated sportsmen and women and are not familiar with others for various reasons.
Issue number 2. Unawareness of various sports
Selecting the same common sports due to lack of awareness, resources, etc. is the next issue. There are plenty of games in the world of sports but one-third of them are not known to us. However, the people who play know that spreading about the existence of sports stays confined. Not many people try and explore due to various reasons. They end up playing the same sports, and the chances of success decrease due to the massive level of competition. Undoubtedly, there is competition everywhere, but if more and more people go to the same place, chances of survival in the realm decrease. Everyone has their skills, and they must try out different things. Who knows, you might be better at that thing than what you are doing today? Explore, yet stick to what you like.
Issue number 3. Indian education system
India has started to consider extra-curriculum vital for their student's growth; however, sports are still not equivalent to academics. Most schools tend to focus solely on academics, and even if they practice extra curriculum or sports, they do it just for the sake of it existing. Schools must grant importance to this realm and must do management of both academics and sports as part of student growth must be done in the education system. After all, education means overall development and not only increasing theoretical knowledge. Hence, the Indian education system must start focusing on sports and try to allocate the resources required for the same. Lack of resources, both physical and human, is required for adequate indulgence and success in sports. The School should provide proper equipment, techniques, and coaches to the students.
Issue number 4. Funding
As compared to other nations, the Indian government spends way less than other countries in terms of funding. Indian players spend on private resources for their development, like training, travelling, equipment, etc. hence, most of the players who are not so financially stable end up in a difficult situation and cannot continue any further. However, the government has started investing in sports fails to cover all fields.
Issue number 5. Corruption
Surprisingly, most sports authorities in India have come under attack for being corrupt and their corruption charges. In the 2010 commonwealth games, the image of Indian sports administrators got dented due to the involvement of political personalities and controversies. The funds received by the authorities for sports are often gulped by officials and people responsible for regulating finances in such sectors, resulting in deserving candidates not receiving any benefits, not even near to what they must.
Issue number 6. Gender bias
In a developing country like India, women's sports are given less importance than men's sports. The problem arises when women are considered not to be able to be a sportsperson. Firstly, People are not able to overcome this bias towards women. Secondly, sports are not given enough funds, out of which the funds reserved for women are comparatively way less than the funds earmarked for men. The Bollywood movie Dangal portrays this grim when Geeta Phogat could not get the resources she must have earned due to a lack of funds reserved for women.
Issue number 7. Doping by athletes
The term doping refers to athletes taking illegal substances and medications for improving their performance during their game. It has existed since the existence of sports. However, the methods and effects have become unrealistically working with the advancement of science and technology. Doping was first officially noted in 1904 by an Olympic runner. It constituted strychnine, which gave strength to finish the race and helped increase the speed. Doping is injurious to an athlete's health. They have serious consequences such as heart attacks, sudden deaths, etc. India has been caught violating the rules by using doping, which is shameful for the country.
Issue number 8. Indian sports equipment industry
A few companies dominate the industry, and the smaller companies don't get enough chances to increase their sales and reach. The dominating companies sell their products and equipment at higher prices which are not accessible to all sportsmen due to financing issues or lack of knowledge.
Issue number 9. Young athletes' dropout rates.
Statistics suggest that 82 per cent of individuals drop out of competitive sports between the age of fifteen to eighteen years. The reasons for dropping out include academic pressure, declining interest levels, and lack of career opportunities belief. The rates of girls dropping out are more. As age increases, the dropout rates increase.
With time, the outlook toward sports in India is changing. People have started to consider it a vital part and the government is also working on its policies and encouraging sportsmanship. Several rules and regulations have come into the act for the betterment of the field, and better management is being done by formulating various policies. According to a study by the famous sportswear brand Puma, 57% of Indians had not played any sports in the last 12 months. Mostly, Indians cannot translate their interest, love and passion into participation in sports. To improve the scenario, we must encourage people, children, youth and adults, to make sports a vital part of their life, as it is good for them, both mentally and physically. Sports must not only be played for winning medals but to grow ourselves, which would eventually lead to the growth of the whole sports realm of the nation and contribute, as we get better and better and aware of it.
Disclaimer: Kindly note that the views and opinions expressed are of the author(s) not Law Colloquy.