A Britain based friend posted happiness over the number “67th”. I rubbed my eyes in disbelief and immediately thought of visiting an optometrist. But, on further scrutiny, I realised she was talking about total medals of Great Britain not about abysmal rank of India in Rio Olympics.
Two medals courtesy two brave girls saved our necks but it hardly provide any solution. And government’s and corporate’s sudden pouring of awards for them hardly fixes the problem that lying somewhere deep down.
Year after year, we ignore the investments that need to be put into constructing the system that supports and encourages our sportspeople.
No wonder we do not have any Michael Phelps or Simone Biles to boost of, who can individually beat the toll of Indian medal tally every four years.
Every time I see the plight of sportspeople of our country, I became surer of rightfulness of choosing corporate over sports field early in my life. There is hardly any infrastructure, any recognition for achievement at any level or any incentive to be a part of daily grind of practicing.
You pick up any sportsperson and you can be sure of inadequate facilities they have to cope up with. Only cricket offers some respite from the generalization or if you can spend your personal fortune to train yourself. And if you look at return, there are very few incentives from government or private entities except when you are in cricket or you hold the spotlight in a particular field like Sania Mirza in tennis or Saina Nehwal in Badminton.
We significantly lack the infrastructure to train our sports people. But also, we lack the mindset that needs to be developed to make us a sporting nation. Sports as a profession hardly gets the respect it deserves. In fact, for middle class of our nation, it is a waste of time as it does not provide any future assurance.
Political moves and media gimmicks hardly help the cause.
Why would you choose Salman Khan or A.R.Rehman as brand ambassadors of one of the biggest sporting event when there is so much talent that is waiting to be seen?
Newspapers cry why we never noticed PV Sindhu or for that matter her coach Pullela Gopichand.
Dear editor, they were slogging in the background when you were justifying appointment of film personality to represent them.
Two girls just got rich, a film personality got richer, leading newspapers wonder where we are going wrong and every citizen of the country knows where exactly are we going wrong.
Yet, it will take us yet another four years till we need to debate all of this again.