The moment we think of sports in India, the first word that comes to our mind is ‘cricket’. If one was to add another religion to the existing ones, cricket would easily be the one. It has united people from different backgrounds, castes, and religions over a long period of time now and continues to do so. Not only has it bonded people within India together, but globally too, since it has evolved multiple folds as compared to any other sport in the country. The revenue generation capacity is such that its taking care of funding of the other sporting events too. A need for promoting cricket in India would never arise, since it is instilled in their blood from a very young age. Is it a good thing to happen? Yes, indeed! The only drawback is that its overshadows other sports which needs to be promoted and given equal attention.
India always had issues with gender equality if we look at its history. Women were looked upon in our country simply as ones who would go about doing all the household chores and a machine for producing and raising kids. More so because the literacy rates were as good as negligible back then. This situation has changed drastically over the last few decades/years thanks to the literacy rates going up. Evolution of women athletes in India could well act as a benchmark or inspiration for countries where women are still under rated. However, it has still not reached to a level that we expect it to be at. Although, the best and upcoming talent comes from smaller villages or cities in the country, residents or families show signs of reluctance in encouraging their girls to take up sports. One of the bigger reasons being lack of financial aid to fulfil their dreams. But, we can be proud of the quality of talent coming up lately, eventually making our country proud at national and international sporting events.
Seldom do we think about our so-called national sport whenever a thought or a discussion about sports takes place in general. Our country might have had a strong history in hockey in terms of accomplishments, but it’s a pity that it does not get the much-needed recognition that it deserves. It is obvious that no one can be forced to take up any sport against their interests, but they sure can be encouraged to give it a shot. The best way to go about it is making them a part of the school curriculum when it comes to sporting activities is concerned. Another important aspect would be the standard of infrastructure available to be able to groom an individual. However, hockey federation in India has surely taken a fair bit of inspiration from cricket to promote it by starting hockey premier league (HPL) in India. It surely has been well received nationally since players from around the globe participate in it, making it a global event as a result.
China, followed by India is rated as the most populated countries in the world. Think about the number of medals won by both the counties or even compare it. China would always be among the top five in the world and India on the contrary on the bottom half of the table. There has always been a debate about this fact. The fact that why can India not produce quality athletes although we possess a younger bunch of population comparatively. Well, there are a few basic aspects like fund allocation, infrastructure, authorities associated in grooming the prospective athletes, and most importantly government’s interest in promoting the same. China must surely be on par in all of these aspects as compared to India. Not that India lacks talent, but, it eventually comes down to how an individual is groomed for a given sport. Onus vests in the hands of the apex institutions within the country to take it to the next level. There have been signs of gradual improvement. To see India at the top of the charts is a distant dream though.
Let’s talk about kabaddi, a sport that was among the most popular ones in India a few decades back. It felt like it was completely buried in the grave for a lot of years and suddenly rose from the ashes when the pro-kabaddi league started back in 2014. The viewership number only went up as the years passed by. It has been able to draw the interest of celebrities, businessmen, and noted former sportsmen when it comes to owning teams or generating funds. They see it as a revenue-generating opportunity which subsequently results in promoting the age-old sport within the country. This, in turn, created a buzz among the general public and Kabaddi stands as a well-recognized sport today.
Last but not the least, a worldwide favorite, ‘Football’. Every football follower in India dreams to see their team participate in the world cup. Most of the budding football players in our country hail from the Eastern part of India or Goa predominantly. Although matches do take place at the state, national, and international levels, it fails to generate the interest levels among the viewers. Football grounds are completely packed in the European countries and it is viewed by the fans globally. The amount of prize money at stake is phenomenal. The remuneration that each player earns at the international level is staggering too. It’s a pity that India is nowhere close although efforts are still on.
Image source: businessworld.in
Broadly, there is no sport in India that has evolved as much as cricket. Although we are among the fastest developing nations in the world, we have not evolved as a sporting nation as we would have liked it to be. It’s a gradual process similar to the famous old school quote ‘Rome was not built in a day’. But, with all the latest technologies, infrastructure, and sponsors in place, we remain hopeful of India making it big in the near future. Life is all about efforts that we put in and not giving up and this is the process every sports person follows day in and day out. A process that eventually makes their country proud and paves a way for them to be a household name and part of the history.