Sarbanand was just telling you in detail what was going on in the sports world. My main job here is to congratulate you. I wanted to spend one and a half to two hours with you and accordingly, the schedule was also first made. But then I have to go to Vizag because of the cyclone there. That’s why I have got to go immediately after meeting you.
My main objective behind this meeting was to hear you. This is because everyone has his or her own history, his or her own efforts. You had to face so many hurdles. Initially your family stopped you, asked you to sit down and study instead of going to play. Yes. after a particular stage, the family felt, wow! our son or daughter is doing something. But everybody stopped you first from playing.
Even after this, a player in our country needs to focus on two things. One is game and the other, warding off people’s ridicule. You have to overcome both the hurdles. Sport is a grand old tradition in our country. If you like visiting Archeological Sites then go to a place called Dholavira in our country, the world's most ancient city, 5000 years old ! It is near Kutch desert, there is a 5000 years old big stadium. The stadium has the capacity to seat nearly 5,000 people which means, even at that time sports was primary subject of pursuit. And that’s why such a big stadium was made thousands of years ago.
When we read the stories of the Ramayana and Mahabharata, we find that even at that time compared to other subjects sports was given priority. Guru’s trained their students in the art of yielding weapons. And in sculptures there are descriptions of all these wrestling etc. That was the legacy from the past. But in the middle ages, we slowed down in our preparations for the global arena.
It’s not any player’s fault; he or she too wants to return as a winner; after all who wants to lose! But the kind of exposure, the training, the infrastructure and environment needed was lacking. However, it’s good thing that for some time past now the attention of the states have also been focused on this. Many states are setting up Sports Universities. Government of India is signing MOUs with several countries for development of expertise in sports.
Just a few days back, Australian Prime Minister had come to India. I spoke with him in detail that what kind of help he can give us for sports infrastructure. I am discussing this in detail with many other countries. Similarly, we are trying to map the sports in the country. There are some states, whose status in some games is quite good. States like Haryana, where we can find brave people. They are expertise in wrestling. So, they are focusing on this. Hyderabad has found a different name, thus for them facility should be develop. If we do these things, we will be focused on activity. It is my belief that my enthusiasm & your morale, both together will do something great.
No country can move forward without self-respect. Can’t move forward without self-pride. This small-small step will recognize us, which increases its total and they ultimately inspires each generation. For example, our scientist succeeded in Mars Orbiter. We became the first country in the world, which succeeded in the first attempt to orbit. We became the first country. It is no longer the work of prime minister or cabinet ministers. This is the work of scientists. Whole world has to accept that India succeeded in the first attempt to Mars orbit…!
If you travel by auto-rickshaw in Hyderabad your minimum fare for 1 kilometer will be at least 10 to 12 rupees. Our cost of travelling a kilometer on Mars works out to 7 rupees. That means this Mars mission of ours has been completed in less than a Hollywood movie budget. This event linked our self respect.
In the same way, when one of our players wins, the event occurs in a corner of the world. He is wiping his sweat in one corner regardless what the world is seeing. But just when the sweat on your body was yet to dry up, all of a sudden Hindustan feels proud of you. Everyone says, wow! he did something ! There is electrifying effect of these things and these things happen again and again, and then it becomes the inspiration of every generation. Therefore, for us your success is just not the issue of personal success. It creates self-pride in the hearts of all Indians, your efforts produce honor. You worked hard for this success, you shed sweat, you slept poorly, got up early in the morning and went to the ground, but our countryman jumped for you and this is your success. Whole Hindustan stands up beside you and would enjoy to your success. This is the largest achievement.
I know that how many difficulties you are facing. When players from other countries come here, you would see and think, they have good & different accessories, but i don’t have. Now, we are going with common tools. But I believe that, one day these things will change, professionalism will come.
Good start is that now our corporate world is also identifying them with any one of the sport. In the coming days it is going to be a big advantage, because this is developing a Public-Private Partnership Model. Sportsman’s dignity is also grows. Now he doesn’t need to care about his personal financial life. There is also the facility for that. My effort is that we should provide assistance to players as much we can. Whatever we can do for expertise, we should do. It is not so that there is no ability in people of India. If given the chance, the people of India must also show their strength & ability.
I see that these days, players are eating less than in earlier times. But these days sports person’s every move is becoming a catalyst for the community. This is a good situation. Recently, Mary Kom did a cleaning work. I was seeing that Modi was cleaning. More than that Mary Kom was cleaning, its’ impact was more. She asked another nine people to do the same. I was seeing, these days Sachin Tendulkar is going for cleaning work almost every morning. You got a special place for creating an environment, which is helping the society.
I am going to tell our HRD Ministry that our players who have winning potential and can also speak such players should be sent to University. They should talk to students in University. This has so several benefits. When a player shares his or her own story with the students, they ask so many questions like - How did you do this? Your parents didn’t scold you? You got sufficient time? What about studies? If you didn’t do your home-work, then?
I think, if such things are shared by any politician those will not go down their throat, but a successful player can talk about these things. Players schedule is so tight that they have to spend their 20-25 weeks abroad. To reach such a position, they have similar situation. Still, if you have some time, kindly have a direct talk, this will create a healthy environment which will benefit us.
There are some sports in which we want to continue our work. After all, there is very little time in a Sportsman’s Career. Age matters. Physically he can’t do as earlier. For a limited tenure, it is not like our field, our train can run for 90 years. But you have a limited time. But today Sports related Activity has been increased. Players should bring the expertise game with him. In the coming days, you will have seen, there were many players in the game who start working as a Special Commentator or statistics after leaving their game. If he develops a good language, he became a commentator. Some become umpires. However, there are also many areas, where they are also run their Institutions.
Recently, I met Sania. She opened a very good Institution. Such things, when you exit the field, still a great world of sport on which you could run your economic life. We also have to develop it scientifically, so no sportsman never ever need to explore the job, because he become the expert, Due to this institutional work, there is still huge possibility of career for sportsman. Through Sports University, we want to develop this. Through sports University, opportunities in academic field are also increasing. By teaching you can also promote sports. Sports universities will have the opportunities for players.
Until we make a whole chain of life; the sportsman will not get the opportunity develop his career. In this way I am working towards this. But your suggestions will work more. One thing is that you have a Global Exposure. You talk to the players of the world. You know the environment of world’s sport world. You know all the difficulties. So, your personal involvement would do better.
The discipline in a player’s life brings him victory; it brings pride for the country, but even small mistakes can malign the country’s name. When our players win 15 Gold medals, the news will figure on the 8th number but if they make some mistake, it becomes the breaking news. In the same way, if any Politian utter a nonsense thing, it become a headline and who brought a medal for Country after a hard work of 15 years, its news goes on 11th number. These are some difficulties in our country. At what time, we should concentrate on which matter is the hardships. We have become accustomed, because such difficulties are our day to day business. You guys are facing more difficulties than others.
But you have brought glory to the Country; I would like to congratulate you. And I am also your friend, your partner. Speak with me with an open mind. You can write to me. It’s your right to write to me. After all, a politician does not put in as much labor as a player does.
My best wishes to all of you for increasing the country’s honor. If any of you ever want to meet me separately, you can take an appointment. I will surely give you time. Because I want to do something in this field. I will think but you being experienced in the field you are in a better position to offer suggestions. Congratulations once again to all of you.