Prime Minister Narendra Modi will inaugurate P.T. Usha’s, pet project and nine-year-long dream, Payyoli Express, via video-conference in presence of the Central Minister for Sports, Shri Vijay Goel and the State Minister for Sports AC Moideen. Through this project, Usha desired to provide a platform to the young athletes from all across the country. She also aimed to benefit these youngsters from her own experience. However, she needed a proper infrastructure for this project. Though the then Union Minster of Sports, Shri Ajay Maken, gave a go to the construction of an international standard synthetic track-and-field arena and sanctioned the paperwork and allocated the required funds (approximately Rs 5 crore), Usha still had to wait for 15 long years to turn it into reality!
However, as soon as the announcement was made, it caught the ex-minister Ajay Maken’s eyes and thus began the same old battle for credits.
‘Modi to open synthetic track at Usha school’https://t.co/Z3liE5fY8X
Another credit taking
I visited on 13Feb’11 sanctioned 5cr-A UPA work pic.twitter.com/QzoXdi8RrC
— Ajay Maken (@ajaymaken) June 12, 2017
However, as the credit war continued, the 68-year-old sports journalist, K.P. Mohan asked what we all should be asking the sports department right now. He asked that why did it take us six years to it took to lay a track? He said that this only exposes the hurdles that the athletes face in our country.
Indeed credit goes to Mr. Maken. But then that it took six years to lay a track only exposes the hurdles people face in our country.
— K.P. Mohan (@kaypeem) June 12, 2017
Mohan’s tweet raises the question that why did it take a total of 15 years to deliver this project, especially when it came from one of the most celebrated athletes in the country. Why did Usha have to wait for 15 years for her own academy?
Isn’t it a sad state of affairs for the sports culture of the country? Also, taking so long for such academy doesn’t only kill the dreams of those who really want to take sports environment ahead in India but also of the thousands of those aspiring talents who are in search of a proper training. These youngsters who belong to various corners of the country need a helping hand to take their talents on the international stage.
And what adds to this disappointment is watching the government officials quarrel shamelessly over credit. But what they don’t realise is, it is not the credit that they are fighting over, but discredit. The discredit that you took 15 years to build the most basic sporting infrastructure in a country that promises to be counted among the superpowers in the coming years.