August 29th, 2016
The whole country is celebrating 2 medals we won a week back at the Rio Olympics. The country with 1.3 billion population stood 67th in the Olympics, behind nations like Iran, Kazakhstan, and even Kosovo, which was declared a nation just a few years back in 2011. We slipped from 6 medals in 2012 to 2 medals this year.
The performance we had this year was embarrassing and should have called for deep introspection. The country full of people who don’t get tired of saying “India is a great nation”, which is not at all wrong has failed miserably. Why do we fail to prove ourselves when we have to show that India is a great nation or why don’t we take steps to make our country great. Our politicians, who always use our nationalistic pride to gain our votes, don’t have any intention to make our country excel at a grand event like The Olympics.
Why a country that doesn’t forget to celebrate days like Friendship day, Father’s day, Mother’s day or Valentine’s day or every single day which just came to India a few years back forgets days like National Sports Day.
The answer to our failure when it comes to sports lies in a statement given by the greatest hockey player of all time, Dhyan Chand “When I die, the world will cry, but India’s people will not shed a tear for me, I know them.”
He refused to take citizenship of Germany when offered by Hitler and told Hitler that India would be his home till he breathed his last breath. Later, he died in the general ward of a hospital suffering from cancer. This happened to someone who had helped India win 3 successive gold medals at Olympics.
His condition gives a glimpse of every athlete who are from financially weak background and dared to take sports as a profession in our country.
Sita Sahu, a double Special Olympics medalist, is now selling street food.
Gold-medalist archer Nisha Rani had to sell her archery equipment because of poverty.
Kamal Kumar, national gold-winning boxer, now works as a garbage collector.
These are only few examples. Similar to them, there are many international and national-level players who have been forgotten and today they are fighting to have two meals a day.
In this nation of ungrateful people, why should anyone good in sports take it as a full-time profession? Why should parents not caution their children when they are taking up sports? How legends like Dhyanchand would dare to take sports where they have to fight against the system, society, struggle to have basic infrastructure and later face apathy from the government and then the people?