Mumbai: Regretting that majority of the
country`s young population does not have access to sport
facilities, Maharashtra Governor S C Jamir on Sunday said sports
should be made a compulsory part of syllabus.
"I personally feel that we should seriously think of
making sports and games a compulsory part of educational
syllabus in our schools and colleges," said Jamir, who was
here to present the Shri Chhatrapati Puraskar to meritorious
"The single-most competitive advantage which India enjoys
is that India`s youth population is growing. This demographic
dividend can be availed by media only if we could nurture our
youth," he said.
Out of about 77 crore people in the country who are below
35, only five crore have access to organised sports, the
Governor pointed out.
"Out of 10.31 lakh schools in the country, only 48 per
cent have access to playgrounds... we will have to change this
disquieting picture," he said.
When it comes to nurturing sports culture, India can
emulate Cuba which "boasts of 2 million athletes", he said.
"We should seriously introspect whether we treat our
sports superstars well... we often read about a former
Olympian living in penury," the Governor said.
Jamir said that administration of sports also required
Narrating an incident dating back to late 60s, when he
was a minister in the Centre, he said that once, during
football match between Russia and India, he noticed that one
of the Indian players was not playing at all.
"Officials told me that that player was a son of a
high-ranking official. I was very upset and asked that player
to be recalled...The newly sent player scored the goal for the
country within minutes," Jamir said.
"We will have to take definitive steps to reorganise our
sports bodies," he said.
"In the face of upcoming sports events such as the next
year`s Commonwealth Games and Asian Games, Maharashtra must
have its own strategy to put up our best performance," he