Government has taken several steps to boost India’s performance at international sporting events : Anurag Thakur

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Preparation for International events including Olympics and Asian Games is a continuous process. Training and competitive exposure to sportspersons preparing for international sports events including Olympics is taken care of under the Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations. The Scheme broadly covers support towards:

–           training camps in India and abroad

–           international competition exposures

–           hiring of Indian and foreign coaches, support staff

–           training equipment

–           hosting of national and international championships in India

–           medical insurance for injuries

Further, support for customised training of medal prospects including for Olympic Games and Asian Games is provided under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) under the overall ambit of National Sports Development Fund.

A High-Level Committee was constituted to oversee the preparation of Indian contingent for the Olympic Games, Tokyo 2020. During the second wave of Covid-19, several athletes were sent abroad for training so that they may remain unaffected by the ongoing pandemic in the country. Other Tokyo probables were trained in the training camps with social distancing.

‘Sports’ is a State subject. It is the primary responsibility of the State Governments to develop sports including development and creation of sports infrastructure of international standards. However, Central Government also provides financial assistance under its scheme of ‘Khelo India’ to States/UTs to develop critical sports infrastructure and other infrastructure, where there are gaps, including for sports science and sports equipment on the basis of viable proposals from them.

Training of sportspersons preparing to participate in major international tournaments is mainly held at Centres of Sports Authority of India, which have adequate facilities. Further, in order to improve the facilities owned by the State Governments, each State is permitted to identify one existing sports facilities to be declared as Khelo India State Centre of Excellence (SLKISCE) wherein financial support is provided for manpower and upgradation of sports infrastructure facilities by conducting gap analysis. Such 24 SLKISCEs have already started across the country.

For providing financial security, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports is implementing the Scheme of Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons, under medallists of Olympic Games, Para-Olympic Games, Asian Games, Para Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and World Cup/World Championships in disciplines of Olympic Games and Asian Games are eligible for lifelong pension in the range of Rs. 12,000 to Rs. 20,000 per month, once they retire from active sports or attain the age of 30 years, whichever is earlier.

Further, the Ministry is also implementing the scheme of Pandit Deendayal Upadhayay National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons, under which financial support uptoRs. 5 lakh is provided to sportspersons living in indigent circumstances, families of deceased sports persons. Further, assistance uptoRs. 10 lakh for medical treatment to sportspersons or family members, assistance uptoRs. 10 lakh for injuries sustained during training for and participation in sports competitions, assistance uptoRs. 2.5 lakh for training, procurement of equipments and participation in national and international sports events, assistance uptoRs. 2 lakh to coaches and support personnel and assistance uptoRs. 4 lakh for medical treatment of coaches and support personnel is provided from the above-said Fund.

This information was given by Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Shri Anurag Thakur in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.