When we talk about the Indian sports industry, we discuss lack of infrastructure, lack of sporting culture, improper sports’ budget allocation, the federations not doing enough and other myriad facts. The sports industry is a victim of mismanagement of sports authorities unfortunately. The social and economic inequalities have a negative impact on the Indian sport. Denial of access to sports infrastructure due to poverty, concentration of stadiums and other sports avenues only in cities, lack of encouragement to girls to participate in sports, etc, have impaired the development of a positive sports culture in the country. Infrastructure is the key for training and organizing games, its non-availability and its access to only a few sections of the society have adversely impacted the sport participation and the quality of sports persons.
For the development of any sector, formulation and execution of an effective policy is a must.This is true for sports also. Till date, the sports policy planning and implementation is centralized in the country due to the paucity of resources and the expertise by the State and local governments. Compared to other developed and developing countries, allocation of financial resources is meager in India. I pick the trend of sports budgets from 2017 – 2020 as per the Union Budget. In the Union Budget 2019-20, Rs 2826.92 crore was allocated to the sports budget. It is an increase of a mere Rs 50 crore from the revised estimates of 2019-20. A hike of Rs 258.2 crore was observed in the union budget for 2018-19. In the Union Budget 2017-18, Rs 1943 crore allocated for sports. While it is Rs 450 crore higher than the previous year, it is much below than the around Rs 9000 crore spent annually by the UK for the sports sector.
But for all of that to change, we need good minds. We need people with solid integrity, quality training to come forth and take those policy decisions, make plans and then execute them.
We also need to build our own events on the same lines of The Tour De France, The Iron Man and Spartan to promote localization – culture, food, heritage and tourism.