Time ripe to frame J&K’s own comprehensive Sports Policy
*Sportspersons waiting in wings for already announced State Awards
JAMMU, Oct 7: Over six years have gone since the preliminary exercise for the formation of Sports Policy has been initiated, yet one observes that hardly any concrete step has been taken with regard to implementation of J&K’s own Sports Policy. However, after J&K’s Union Territory (UT) status, the implementation of healthy Sports Policy ought to be a priority for the Governor’s Administration, which is burning mid-night oil in enhancing sports culture in every nook and corner of the State, as the time is ripe to establish a sportsperson-friendly policy.
Moreover, it is also the opportune time for honouring outstanding sportspersons with the already announced State, Sher-e-Kashmir and Parshuram Sports Awards as the players are waiting in the wings for the presentation of the same from last around four years.
Sources said that the prestigious Sports Awards namely State Award, Sher-e-Kashmir Award and Parshuram Award, which have already been announced by the previous Government, way back in 2016, in favour of the outstanding sportspersons of the State (players and coaches) for their extraordinary contribution in their respective sports disciplines, have not been presented to them from a long time now.
“Presently the process of the Government is on with regard to framing policies in connection with efficient and effective functioning of every Department/Organisation, not to talk of the field of sports only. So, one hopes that Governor’s Administration takes healthy steps in promoting sports and sportspersons before the new innings of the State of Jammu and Kashmir begins after its Union Territory status. For that matter, the presentation of awards to already nominated outstanding sportspersons, in order to clear backlog at an earliest, is the need of the hour. It would be a great step if the Government takes initiative of organising the Award Ceremony within this month, before Jammu and Kashmir becomes Union Territory,” said former Standing Committee Member of Jammu and Kashmir State Sports Council on the condition of anonymity.
He further said that awards and initiatives are highest motivation for young sportspersons to flourish and if the same are not presented even after the announcement by the Government, it leaves the players in the lurch and serves as a stumbling-block for the promotion of games and sports, adding such policies blow a death-knell for budding sportspersons.
“Jammu and Kashmir is lagging behind rich sporting State like Haryana, Punjab and Maharashtra etc in providing assistance and perks to talented sportspersons to blossom at the National and International scene. On the one hand, the State of Haryana presents Rs 75,00,000 to medal winner at the International Level, and on the other hand, the state of affairs is that J&K gives a meagre amount of Rs 50,000 for the same. Moreover, non-categorization of games in accordance with the performance at the higher levels is also a matter of great concern. In a such a scheme of things, some talented sportspersons are deprived of their rights, while others get undue benefit. What is annoying is the fact that the players of medal winning sports disciplines and those with poor show at the higher levels are often put in the same league in the jaundiced system,” said coach of prominent medal winning sports discipline.
He added that the Sports Policy should ensure that the outstanding players who get the benefit of SRO-349/98 related to admission in Professional Colleges, should also get the benefit of another SRO related to the appointments in Government Services.
Sources close to Sports Council said that the Sports Policy Draft prepared in 2013, had suggested various measures for the upliftment of sports and games and providing necessary facilities to the players so that they could match with the best in the business, adding that after the draft was fully prepared, the J&K State Sports Council had decided to put it in public domain for suggestions to bring any further improvement but that did not happen. The Draft was not implemented due to lack of consensus.
Sources further said that the Council had worked on the preparation of the new Sports Policy Draft with an aim to address concerns of all stakeholders.
It is learnt that the State Sports Council had studied models of the Sports Policy Draft of various States to have an exact idea of what should be done to make the Draft sportsperson-friendly.
“A comprehensive Sports Policy can only contribute in the making of a desirable sports structure in the State. Unfortunately, we do find that almost all the agencies including the Department of Education, J&K State Sports Council, Department of Youth Services and Sports, Nehru Yuva Kendra and various Sports Associations working haphazard manner in their own respective ways, but to no avail and ultimate purpose of sports is getting defeated in this way. All these agencies need to be brought under one umbrella if we want to make headway in this direction,” said a retired District Sports Officer and a PhD scholar.
He said taking both education and sports together would cater to the development of organic, cognitive and co-native aspects of human personality, adding that education must very unfailingly encompass the application of physical education and sports for the development of wholesome personality.
Experts believe that J&K will achieve excellence in sports only when comprehensive Sports Policy is framed.
Making use of all the hard work done so far in framing Draft analogous to the Sports Policies of the States having good name and fame in sports field at the higher level, the Governor’s Administration has hardly any uphill task in hand to implement its own Sports Policy at an earliest to create a niche in the field of sports and carve a space on the National sports map.