AICS demands more funds in sports budget

New Delhi, Jan 6 (IANS) All India Council of Sports (AICS) President Vijay Kumar Malhotra on Friday urged the government to treat sports as a priority sector besides demanding a hike in the country’s sports budget to bring the athletes at par with other leading Olympic nations.

“In view of the Prime Minister’s ambitious programme to prepare the sportspersons for the next 12 years which will cover three Olympic games, 2020 to 2028, there is an urgent need to recognise Sports as a priority sector and for that a big annual financial allocation is required,” Malhotra said in a statement.

Presiding over the fourth meeting of the AICS, which was attended by Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) President Brijbhushan Sharan Singh, legendary athlete P.T. Usha, national badminton coach Pullela Gopichand, former weightlifter Kunjarani Devi and Sports Secretary Injeti Srinivas among others, Malhotra said PM Narendra Modi’s decision to set up a task force to oversee the preparations of the Indian sportspersons for the future Olympic and Asian Games is very reassuring.

It was decided to once again recommend a robust pension scheme for meritorious sportspersons so that they can lead a respectable life after retiring from active sports.

The members also requested Malhotra to take up with the Prime Minister the matter of providing Central Government Health Services (CGHS) cover to national medal winners and international sportspersons and sports and adventure awardees.

Malhotra also mentioned that henceforth Paralympic and Special Olympic will be included in all schemes.

It was informed that the recommendation of AICS to fill 5 percent vacancies through sports quota has been accepted by the government and that there’s a need to pursue this with state governments to provide employment to sportspersons as job security will encourage more people to take to sports.

–IANS

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