A sports field is the one place where all social boundaries are blurred, performance in sports is perhaps the last thing one can measure based on social differences, nonetheless, sporting facilities in most cities in the country are so close yet so far for a child with immense talent belonging to the economically lower sections of society.
Delhi, for instance, is the hub for sporting activities in the country but most facilities in the national capital region are owned by the mighty Delhi Development Authority, which puts a price on the usage of all its infrastructure not giving a leeway to any prominent players.
While putting a price on sporting facilities already takes down the number of children who enroll, as only those who don’t burn a hole in the pocket while paying the price approach these facilities, the newly rolled out GST also plays devil in restricting talent from rural areas in Delhi to have a chance to play at these world class facilities as the price keeps soaring higher as a result of taxation .
At a press conference held with achievers from the Asian Games, Delhi chief minister Arvind Kejriwal was asked by a disappointed wrestler Divya Kakran, “Aaj toh aap kar rahe ho, lekin gareeb bacche hain aap unka bhi kabhi socho.” She meant to say that, they were facilitated for their achievements, but to hone talent and have more like them the Delhi government must provide the poor children with enough support in order to reach this level.
While the DDA comes under the central government and only full statehood for Delhi can bring in much needed reforms to the facilities run by them, the Delhi government has given respite to its rural population bringing in a welcome change.
The Aam Aadmi Party, led by Arvind Kejriwal and Manish Sisodia has sanctioned INR 139 crores for the establishment of a “world class” sports complex in Najafgarh. The complex will boast of a synthetic athletics track, a jogging track, a basketball court, a swimming pool, a cricket ground with approved sports lighting, and an uninterrupted power supply system.The Directorate of Education felt that it does not have any sports stadium/sports complex in rural areas of Najafgarh and its nearby villages.
The change has come as an effort by the Directorate of Education, Government of Delhi, as it was felt that rural Delhi needs to have infrastructure and facilities which can be availed by the residents of those areas without having to go too far or spend more than they can afford. The Delhi government has been leading the way when it comes to making an effort towards providing equal opportunities to all its citizens specially with sports, recently their educational reforms have drawn praise from all quarters, a striking feature of their school’s of excellence in Delhi, which mind you are government schools, is that they have some of the best sports facilities in the region much ahead of their private counterparts.
This and many other orders by the Delhi government such as, building of a sports hostel for girls and boys in Delhi, starting two new policies to discover talent in the state and then nurture it, as well as the ground breaking policy, to support 100 sportspersons from Delhi every year and provide them with INR 16 lakhs as financial aid for preparation, have gone unnoticed by many in the heated political atmosphere the country faces today.Virender Sehwag put Najafgarh on the world map, but here’s hoping that Najafgarh has many more nawabs .