The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports launched two new schemes on Friday targeting the youth and aimed at providing better sporting facilities at the grassroots.
The National Youth Policy-2014 (NYP) and the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) were inaugurated by Sports Minister Jitendra Singh and Rahul Gandhi in the presence of several sportspersons, including M.C. Mary Kom, Vijender Singh, P. Gopichand and Ronjan Sodhi.
The programmes were simultaneously launched at district headquarters and in universities across India.
The NYP has a five-point objective: developing the youth into a productive work force by providing them the right skills and promoting entrepreneurship, developing effective healthcare and promotion of a healthy lifestyle, promoting social values and spirit of community service, facilitating participation in governance process and inclusive policies to take care of disadvantaged sections.Rs. 9,000-crore plan
It will also suggest a framework for policy interventions by government and non-government stakeholders.
RGKA, a Rs.9,000 crore programme, is aimed at creation of sports infrastructure at the grassroots, promotion of sports, increased access to sports facilities and conduct of competitions. Under this, Integrated Sports Complexes costing Rs.1.75 crore each will be constructed in every rural block panchayat.
Every complex will have three trainers for 11 outdoor and five indoor games from among athletics, archery, badminton, basketball, football, handball, hockey, kabaddi, kho-kho, tennis and volleyball, and boxing, wrestling, table tennis and weightlifting. Provisions for training in self-defence have also been made.
Development of outdoor playfields will be done with funds from the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Act while indoor facilities will be funded by the Non-Lapsable Central Pool of Resources, the Planning Commission, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports and the Ministry of Panchayati Raj.
Interestingly, the country already has a huge programme for developing rural sporting talent under the Panchayati Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA) since 2008 with a budget of several hundred crores.