23 Oct :The existing schemes of Government of India and Sports Authority of India (SAI) lay adequate focus on the promotion of traditional and indigenous games. This was stated by the Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports, Dr M.S.Gill in the Rajya Sabha today, in a written reply to a question by Sh. Jai Prakash Narayan Singh. The Minister further stated that under the Scheme of Assistance to National Sports Federations (NSFs), the sports federations dealing with indigenous/traditional games such as Archery, Chess, Kho-Kho, Tug of War, Kabaddi, Wrestling etc. have been given Government recognition, and are provided with financial assistance for the promotional and developmental activities in their respective disciplines.
In addition to above, the Minister informed the members that the SAI also operates specific schemes for promotion and development of traditional/indigenous games. Under the National Sports Talent Contest Scheme, SAI has adopted 27 schools, provides comprehensive support to the identified athletes, in terms of training and participations in competitions. SAI also operates Special Area Games Scheme, which are specifically aimed at promoting local sporting talent in tribal areas.
For the promotion and development of sports infrastructure in rural areas, the Government has recently launched a national programme titled Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Ahiyan (PYKKA), which aims at providing basic sports infrastructure in all villages and block panchayats in a phased manner over a period of 10 years and access to organized sports competitions at village and block panchayat level. The scheme lays special emphasis on promotion of traditional and indigenous games, the Minister added.