Wednesday, August 15, 2012

We are a young nation but...

that hardly gives me any solace.

To me, Independence Day is a reminder of our young age as a nation. It is obvious therefore that there are so many things that are yet to be done. I feel we are running out of time.

Apart from Delhi, Mumbai and few of the other metros, private sector jobs are almost non-existent. Assam has graduates migrating into cities like Bangalore and Mumbai, staying away from their old parents, working as "Security Personnels" and other smaller jobs, for which they are over-qualified.

Youths who have decided to stay back are fighting for opportunities to make their ends meet. The economy has no market with enough demand and disposable income for any business to run profitably. Private sector investments are not forthcoming for lack of Government incentives and intent. It wont be wrong if I say that no industry is flourishing due to lack of an apt business cum economic strategy from a Govt. policy perspective.

Independence Day for them is a farce, a day perhaps to observe Assam Bandh by ULFA.

I wonder what do we do to kickstart the economic engine, which is currently polarised only in the metros. I continued my old clothes collection drive for my Bodo brothers and sisters and I end my day with satisfaction, if not happiness.

Joi Ai Axom. Jai Hind.

India needs to love sports to win at the Olympics !

'Kheloge kudoge to honge kharab, padhoge likhoge to banoge nawab' is normally the beginning of sports for a kid in India. Cricket is perhaps the only sport that doesn't come under the 'strict' purview of this emotion.

Competitive spirit in sports bids us adieu by class IX. Class X is too critical a year to play sports. It is also the year of confusion for the kids who love sports and have an interest to pursue sports seriously. They continue playing and performing poorly in studies.

Soon life takes over sports. Sports goes to the weekends, and then slowly to the television. After marriage, serials takes over that little bit of sports as well ! :)


Then comes the Olympics or the Common Wealth Games. We get super-charged and emotional at our failures at the international level practically in every sporting event. I can never understand why we act so humiliated when Indian sports persons lose at the Olympics, for we hardly play or patronise any sport other than cricket.

How many of us have been to a hockey match, a boxing bout or to an athletic event? How many of us have a professional boxer or a hockey player as a friend? I know that we have had our studies and jobs to manage. But then, how much of us have contributed to any sporting cause? I myself have not spent a penny towards sports. I have contributed towards culture, education and poverty.

It is very clear that we, as a nation do not care about sports as much as to win medals at the international level. So, it is hypocritical to criticise the Government, the sports associations, or the sports persons when Indian fails to perform for the pride of the nation. 

While searching for a sports centric NGO, I discovered that the first non-profit sports NGO was registered in the year 1991 (almost like yesterday going by the history of Olympics and 65 years of independence!) in Hyderabad. It is not a coincidence then that Hyderabad has contributed immensely to the London Olympics. Two of the medal winners - Gagan Narang and Saina Nehwal are from Hyderabad. 

Olympic Gold Quest - a foundation for sports and games, which had nurtured quite a few sports persons in the London Olympics contingent, was formed as late as 2001. It is quite encouraging that four of the medals were directly influenced by the efforts of Olympic Gold Quest. Medal winners - Gagan Narang, Saina Nehwal, Mary Kom and Vijay Kumar are supported by Olympic Gold Quest.

Olympic Gold Quest is founded by Geet Sethi and Prakash Padukone. Leander Paes and Vishwanathan Anand joined them in 2010 as board members.

Olympic Gold Quest has proven that if we concentrate on sports, we can win medals too. There is nothing inherently wrong with Indians that we can't win at the highest levels. We have to actively promote sports through small financial contributions, by encouraging the next generation to think that Sports can also be a good career option and by attending all possible sports meet happening in and around the places where we stay. 

Bollywood and cricket would have to take a 'slight' back seat. 

Then, there will come a time when we would not be at the mercy of jokes comparing India's medal tally with that of Michael Phelps.