Sports Ministry set to implement welfare schemes for sportspersons

New Delhi: In a bid to improve the plight of forgotten national sportstars living in penury, the Ministry of Youth and Sports Affairs is set to implement various welfare schemes in the coming months.

"The Ministry is implementing a scheme named `National Welfare Fund for Sportspersons` under which there is a provision for provind ex-gratia financial assistance to outstanding sportspersons of yesteryears, now living in indignant circumstances whose annual income is less than Rs.2 lakh," said Union Minister of State and Independent Charge for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal.

In a written reply in parliament today, Sonowal made the stand of the government very clear on encouraging sports in the country. He said that the new government is resolute in its aim of not only helping former stars get their due but also improve sporting culture in the country.

"The Ministry is implementing another scheme titled "Scheme of Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons" from 1984 under which life time monthly pension is given to those sportspersons who have won gold, silver and bronze in Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cups/World Championships and Paralympic Games, after they attain the age of 30 years or retire from active sports," the sports minister said.

The sports ministry has set monthly pensions for former Olympians and national players, who have made their mark in international events, which according to Sonowal will inspire the youth to take up sports as a profession.

The pension of Olympic medallists has been set at Rs 10000 per month while the gold medallists at the World Cup/World Championships in Olympic and Asian Games disciplines will get 8000.

Silver and bronze medallists of the World Cup/World Championships in the Olympic and Asian Games disciplines and gold medallists of the Asian and Commonwealth Games will get Rs 7000.

Silver and bronze medallists of the Asiad and CWG will be entitled to get 6000, gold medallists of para-Olympic Games will get 5000.

While silver and bronze medallists of para-Olympic Games have also not been neglected with a monthly pension of Rs 3000 per month.

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