Prime Minister Modi has been hailed by important people from all walks of life both within and outside the country. Most recently he was lauded by none other than Mr. Gopichand himself. Mr. Gopichand, who guided P.V. Sindhu to a silver medal in the recently concluded Rio Olympics, was all praise for the enthusiasm PM Modi showed in sports.
He also said that the current government dispensation has been hugely supportive of sports and stated that the personal interest shown by the Prime Minister has boosted the morale of sportspersons in the country. He pointed out to how Mr. Modi”™s tweets during the games demonstrated his keen interest in sports. Mr. Gopichand also felt that the Prime Minister meeting sportsperson before and after the game and interacting with each one of them personally was praise-worthy. He believes that it is such acts that lifts the spirits of sportspersons and makes them perform better.
The successful coach, who earlier guided Saina Nehwal to a Bronze medal in the 2012 Olympics, made a comparison of the present and previous dispensation. He cited an incident where he and his then ward Saina were made to wait at the PMO just like any other party worker. The two had visited the PMO after returning from London Olympics and Mr. Gopichand found that no one really cared or bothered about them.
A few initiatives:
Mr. Gopichand wasn”™t really far off when he said the present dispensation has been a lot more favourable towards sports. GAIL and NALCO, both public sector Navratna companies, have been funding underprivileged kids and helping them to pursue their sports dreams and careers. GAIL has extended financial support to Asmita who is a gymnastics enthusiast and has won several medals as well.
Similarly Navratna NALCO has taken up the financial burden of budding footballer Chandan Nayak. It is noteworthy that Chandan has been selected by Germany”™s top football club Bayern Munich for a two month training program. The 11 year old hails from Sabar Sahi slum of Bhubaneswar. The boy”™s mother expressed her gratitude to Union Ministers Shri Piyush Goyal and Shri Dharmendra Pradhan and also thanked the company officials. She also stated that NALCO was the first company that came forward to help her son financially.
It is worth remembering that in our country sports isn”™t a priority and in such an environment every small gesture coming from the PM himself will make life for sportspersons that much better. In fact, it would lay down the foundation for future generations of sports enthusiasts.
Lathya Iyer and Arushi Bahuguna