Haryana is the first state to provide electricity, clean water and good roads to all its villages. And, apart from providing this basic infrastructure, today the state has moved on to establish itself as the number one state in the country in the field of sports. Full credit for this goes to the Chief Minister of Haryana, Bhupendra Singh Hooda, who has created a positive atmosphere conducive to sports in the state by making available awards, scholarships and jobs to successful sportspersons. Bhupendra Singh Hooda throws light on this sector and outlines the work done by the government as well as its vision for the future
Players from Haryana have established new milestones in the field of sports and for London Olympics-2012 the number of players from the state has also increased sharply. What are the reasons for this?
The sports players of Haryana have made the state and country proud by performing well nationally and internationally. In all formats of sports -- Olympics, Asian Games and Commonwealth Games -- their achievements have been noteworthy. I am very happy. In all, 84 players are representing India in the Olympics. Out of this, 18 players, who constitute 21 per cent of the team, are from Haryana. It is really a great achievement.
In 2004 Sydney Olympics there were only three players from Haryana. This number has now gone up from three to 21 and this, according to me, is only due to the new sports policy. The policy not only increased the culture of sports in the state it also brought in awards and other perks to motivate people to take up sports as a career.
Now the gold medal winner of the Olympic Games will be given Rs. 2.5 crore, instead of Rs. 1 crore, a silver medal winner will be awarded by Rs. 1.5 crore, instead of Rs.50 lakh. Bronze medal winner will recieve Rs.1 crore instead of Rs.25 lakhs. I believe that if you are laborious and hard working then everything is possible. The players are working hard and we are providing them good facilities.
You have started a plan named Padak Lao-Pad Pao (Win a Medal, Get a Job). What was the vision behind this plan?
I want to give a good future to all of those players who are laborious. That’s why we started Padak Lao-Pad Pao Yojna. Actually I was also a sportsplayer. So I know the problems of a sportsman. We have awarded jobs to 398 players in Police Department in the last seven years. Seventeen of these players are DSPs, 19 are Inspectors, 44 are Sub-Inspectors and 318 are Constables.
In the Commonwealth Games 2010, 35% of the Indian medals were won by Haryana players. How was it made possible?
Haryana is very small state. It only has 1.3% of the country's total area and 2% of its population. But when we talk about medals, we are way ahead of other states.
India won a total of 101 medals in Commonwealth Games and Haryana won 35 of these medals. We felicitated all these players at Sonipat in November 2010. We gave to each of the gold medal winners Rs.15 lakh, Maruti SX-4 car and 101 kg desi ghee and Nokia mobile phone. The silver medal winners got Rs.10 lakh, Maruti Swift Desire car and 51 kg desi ghee and Nokia mobile phone. Each of the bronze medal winners received Rs.5 lakh, Maruti Wagan car, 21 kg desi ghee and a mobile phone. We also gave awards to their trainers.
Who are these 18 players and will you be going to London to see our players perform?
As per my schedule I will try to be in London for the games from August 5 to August 12. The 18 players who are part of the Indian contingent are: Krishna Puniya and Seema Antil in Discus Throw; Om Prakash in Shot Put; in boxing there are five players -- Jai Bhagwan, Manoj, Vikas Krishna Yadav, Vijendra Kumar and Sumit Sangwan. Shooting will be represented by Anurag Singh, Gagan Narang and Sanjeev Rajput. In wrestling, Sushil Kumar, Yogeswar Dutta, Anil and Geeta will take part. In our Hockey team are Sandeep Singh and Sardar Singh. Saina Nehwal will be taking part in Badminton.
Your government has created 3 percent reservation in jobs and educational institutions for sportspersons....
Thousands of job seekers come to me daily. Many of them are sportspersons. A majority of them have financial problems while their achievements are great. That’s why we have decided to give 3 percent reservation to sportspersons.
You are the first chief minister who has started a scholarship plan for scheduled caste players to promote them. Why?
We started the scholarship plan on September 2, 2011, for scheduled caste players, specially girls, to encourage them to take part in sports. In this plan we are giving monthly scholarships to those players who have done well at national and international levels.
You have started SPAT (Sport and Physical Aptitude Test) in Haryana for those youths who are good in sports. What are the results?
We are trying to spot good sportsmen and that’s why we started SPAT plan in 2010. From a bank of 2.54 crores population in the state, as many as 25 lakh youngmen and women interacted with the education department with the help of this policy. Scholarships are given to 5000 children who have been selected under SPAT plan. We are giving Rs. 1500 per month to 8 to 14 years old children and Rs.5000 per month to 16 to 19 years old children. For this year we have provided Rs.10 crore in the plan.
Sahabad region is today dominating the hockey scene. What do you have to say on this?
I am proud to say that the girls of Haryana's Sahabad region have done a marvellous job. In the Indian women's national hockey team 50 percent of the players were from Haryana. These girls helped us make history when they reached the Olympics qualifying round.
What kinds of fundamental facilities are being provided to promote sports in Haryana by the state government?
For improvement of any sports, we have to provide basic facilities. Our government has created not only a good atmosphere but also established many sports campuses, astroturfs, sports nurseries, etc. We have established 19 sports academies for providing international level sports facilities. We are establishing a modern Rs.103 crore sports campus of 90 acres. We are modernising and upgrading district sports campuses.
Source: Times of India