Traditionally sports have never been accorded the primacy in India as education especially with respect to youth.
However, the renewed focus on sports for not only winning medals in international competitions but for keeping healthy and staying fit, the federal and state governments as well as the private sector have been investing heavily in this sector.
Joining the league, the Yogi Adityanath government 2.0 has drawn up a roadmap to set up mini stadiums and gymnasiums in 100 gram panchayats with a view to positioning Uttar Pradesh among the leading sporting states in the country.
UP chief minister Yogi Adityanath is known to espouse the cause of sports as an easy route for maintaining general fitness and participating in big sports events.
The focus of the state government, looking to realise the overarching mission of ‘Khoob-Khelo, Khoob-Badho’ is on players hailing from the hinterland.
According to an official, the government wants to ensure that those players, who have the potential to bring laurels to the state and the country, should not be deprived of facilities.
The state youth welfare department has been mandated to facilitating the setting up of sports arenas and open gyms in the select villages under the MGNREGA scheme.
Specialist coaches are being appointed to impart training in different sports disciplines. Apart from new stadiums, supporting infra including hostels for players are also being constructed.
During the previous tenure, the Yogi government had built more than 44 hostels for training in 16 sports disciplines across 19 districts. The amount for sports kits has been increased from Rs 1,000 to Rs 2,500 for the players.
At the same time, the government has hiked the prize money for sportspersons who win medals in national and international events.