Is sports still a career in J&K?

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Dear Editor,
Central Government is doing well in the field of sports. It has introduced several big platforms like ‘Khelo- India’ for growing athletes. It also built big infrastructures like Cricket stadium in Jammu and Athletic Stadium in Kathua. But it is enough without employment avenues.
In Jammu & Kashmir, career of NIS Trained coaches, trainers International/ National Medalists is just like a patient in critical stage suffering without live-saving oxygen. Even J&K doesn’t have its own sports policy. Over Seven years have gone since the preliminary exercise for the formation of Sports Policy was initiated. As we all know the basic need of all is ‘Roti, Kapda, Makaan’ but how could one earn these basic things when he/ she remains unemployed. Although, in J&K, every year 25 meritorious sports- persons get government jobs in different departments under SRO-349. Process was going in a smooth way, but due to change in recruitment criteria without any notification at an inappropriate time, the matter became sub-judice, resulting into a stay over it and not even a single recruitment was done under the SRO-349 since 2014. However, situation becomes critical when authorities are not taking possible measures to get rid of this. SRO-349 is hope of settlement for almost every sportsperson residing in Jammu & Kashmir. On the other hand, in 2016, from SAI (Sports Authority of India) BJP- PDP led government provided free NIS certificate course of coaching to a huge number of sports-persons hailing from Jammu & Kashmir. In 2017, after completion of course, the government appointed approximate 200 trainers on contractual basis on the honorium of Rs 5,000 monthly for an initial period of one year. But when BJP – PDP government collapsed in 2018, the career of 200 trainers also collapsed and they became unemployed. Another issue of recruitment process of coaches, ground man etc, which should have completed a couple of years ago, has not completed so far because authorities have missed all the records of recruitment.
When NIS trained coaches, trainers,
International/ National medalists, who have spent their whole life in their respective sports fields and brought lourels to the Nation/ State by their performance, remain unemployed, just imagine how could they motivate their trainees.
Building infrastructure is highly appreciable but without trainers it is just a dump of cement and bricks. How could a trainer motivates his/her trainees when he is unable to earn his/her bread and butter from training / coaching?
Administration should take a serious concern over this issue.
Due to unemployment in sports since 2014, many of the meritorious sports persons i.e., Asian games medalist, International/ National medalists have no other option than to work somewhere else to make both ends which meet is highly shameful for authorities related to sports.
An old phrase ‘Padhoge likhoge banoge nawab, kheloge koodoge ho jaaoge khraab’ is suitable and fits properly on the present condition of sports persons in Jammu & Kashmir. I think it should be written as ‘kheloge koodoge ho jaaoge barbaad’. Look at present scenario, I have a question in my mind, ‘Is sports still a career in Jammu Kashmir?’
Arvind Satti,
Jammu.

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