‘Inspiration for the coming days’
Thiruvananthapuram: Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has congratulated Abhinav Bindra on his winning the gold medal in air rifle shooting at the Olympics. In a message he noted that it was for the first time that India was winning a gold in an individual event in the history of the Olympics. He hoped that it would provide the inspiration for India to make more achievements in the coming days. Sports Minister M. Vijayakumar described it as the biggest achievement in the sports sector in free India. Forest Minister Benoy Viswom said Mr. Bindra would be the all-time pride of the country.
Sports Minister M. Vijayakumar said here on Monday that the government would set up a shooting complex at Thodupuzha soon.
At a press conference here, the Minister said that Rs. 30 lakh had been earmarked for the complex.
Congratulating Indian Olympic Gold medal winner Abhinav Bindra on his and the government’s behalf and also on behalf of the sports organisations of the State, the Minister said the establishment of the complex was proposed some time ago by Sunny Thomas, coach of Mr. Bindra.
The Minister said that he was disappointed by the denial of clearance by the Centre for his plan to attend the Olympics. Though the Centre had subsequently changed its stand, the permission was conditional. It specified that no accommodation or transport could be arranged by the Indian Embassy in China other than receiving him at the airport. Kerala was thus being disgraced and hence he had decided not to go to Beijing.
Mr. Vijayakumar said that Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs M.S. Gill had earlier promised to include him in the official delegation to the Olympic Games. However, only Mr. Gill and a team of officials went. Such attitudes were behind the poor show of India in the sports arena. The hockey team, which used to be the reigning world champions, could not even qualify for Olympics. Kerala was a State that could play a role in sports development in the country. It was also to host the National Games a year from now. There was a lot to learn from China.
At another function, Mr. Vijayakumar said the University of Kerala’s stadium here will be the main venue of the National Games to be held in the State next year.
Speaking after laying the foundation stone for a mini theatre being constructed by the University Students’ Centre, Mr. Vijayakumar said he State government would provide Rs. 5 crore for the development and modernisation of the stadium. The modernisation would include setting up of a reading room, a web portal and a digital library.
Mr. Vijayakumar urged the university to submit a master plan for developing its sports infrastructure and facilities. The State government would include sports in the higher education curriculum.
Vice-Chancellor M.K. Ramachandran presided. V.P. Prashanth and A.A. Rasheed, Syndicate members; M. Jayaprakash, Director, College Development Committee; and university union chairman P.V. Arun were present.