Kheri Viran and Bahadurpur are all set to become the country’s first ‘Model Sports’ villages as the Institute of Management Technology (IMT) Ghaziabad look to nurture a sports culture in India.
Under the ‘Adarsh Khel Gram’ program, IMT along with the NGO ‘Sports: A Way of Life’ will build a sports culture and help in increasing the sports literacy in the two villages. In order to help the citizens gain knowledge, free books, magazines will be distributed, with the courtyards and verandahs being converted into a sports management ground. Along with this, every day from 4 pm to 5 pm local time, youngsters will be encouraged to take part in sporting activities. IMT will provide sporting equipment to every child, and a talent hunt to find India next sporting superstar will be conducted on a regular basis as well.
Speaking at the launch, IMT Sport’s Research Centre Head Kanishka Pandey said, “When we went to the villages to talk about sports and depression, sports and labour management, we found out that people there don’t know what is sports. That’s how the idea of sports literacy and culture came into the picture.”
Devendra Jhajharia, a javelin thrower, who too was present, was glad that the rural sections of India were being taught to be ore sports aware.
“This will develop a sports culture in the country and also send out a message that India is working on the sports sector,” he added.
With almost 80% of India’s Olympic medalists coming from the villages, acknowledging that the rural areas hone more talent that needs harnessing is a step in the right direction. Often times, we have seen budding players having to drop sports either due to lack of coverage or facilities, which goes a long way in blocking India’s rise in the sports sector. Initiatives like the one that IMT have taken, thus, needs to be applauded.