© Getty Images  (Representation photo)
The minister wants emphasis on other sports as well © Getty Images (Representation photo)

New Delhi: Dec 9, 2014

A Bhartiya Janta Party (BJP) member of Parliament (MP) on Tuesday rued too much importance given to cricket and said rural sports in the country should be given equal weight-age.

“It seems cricketers are created by Lord Brahma himself while other sportsperson are created by the Lord’s servants,” BJP MP from Bhadohi (Uttar Pradesh) Virendra Singh said during Question Hour in Lok Sabha. While asking a supplementary, Singh said little emphasis was given to rural sports and to nurture rural sports talents and asked the government to do the needful.

“I myself was a sportsman. I had participated in wrestling. Mulayam Singh Yadav was a wrestler. I am not opposing cricket. But there should be equal emphasis on other sports disciplines too,” he said.

Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal said government was giving utmost importance to find talents from every nook and corner of the country and provide them help to nurture their talents.”Through the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA), our target is to reach the remotest part of the country to bring out the talented sportspersons and provide all help to nurture their talents,” he said.

On stipend given to potential sports talents, Mohammad Salim (CPI-M) commented that the country has seen many alleged scams while hosting sports events like Commonwealth Games.”We have seen many scams…some people are in jail, some are on bail. Such things should be stopped,” he said. Sonowal said government will find out ways to give stipend to young talented sportsperson so that they can excel in their area of interests.

He said the Central government is implementing only one Centrally sponsored scheme, namely RGKA. Under the revised RGKA scheme, construction of a sports complex in each block of the country for both outdoor and indoor sports disciplines on land measuring about six-seven acres at a total cost of Rs 1.60 crore (Rs 80 lakh each for outdoor play-field and indoor sports hall) will be undertaken.

Under the RGKA, there is also provision for conducting annual sports competitions like rural sports competitions, women sports competitions, north east games and competitions in Left Wing Extremism affected areas.

Sonowal said the Central government was implementing the Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Abhiyan (PYKKA) from 2008-09 to 2013-14 for creation and maintenance of basic sports infrastructure in village and block panchayat levels and encouraging basic sports and games in rural areas through conduct of annual sports competitions.