SPORTS is no more `mere playing' - it has become a war zone - at least, that is how the leading sporting nations think. The will to win transcends individuals' need for excellence; millions of countrymen rooting for you is a heady sensation for every sportsman worth his salt.
IN INDIA, HOWEVER, INDIVIDUALS COME BEFORE THEIR COUNTRY! This mindset must change.
Having been involved with `grass root' sports for the last three decades - I have seen and known all the reasons as to WHY WE ARE WHAT WE ARE. We always have a reason for our `failures' - we don't believe in putting our house in order. Whoever can manipulate takes the cake.
The nexus of `favourites' - `influential' - `quota scavengers' - `overage cheaters' - `regional representations' etc. has destroyed Indian sports. Even the sports academies and other `centres of excellence' suffer from these maladies. All is fair for politicians as long as they get their SEAT and all is fair for sportspersons as long as they make the TEAM.
I have seen many `UNSUNG HEROES' of Indian sports - the voluntary coaches who donot get one single paisa for their effort - their only motivation is their love for the game and their wards. Their old and dusty track-suits and `stitched' shoes give them away; their sincerity is extraordinary. The `official coaches' have spick and span `REEBOK' shoes with the latest designer track suits.
WE DONOT HAVE PROPER GRASS-ROOT SPORTS! A player aspiring to be world class must begin his `focus' from childhood. In his or her teens the player must jostle among his seniors at an equal footing and as a youth must stamp his class at national level or even international level. We donot have `scouts' who identify such players. We have brokers who `promise' CET SEAT; GOVT JOB - in return for `hidden' favors. So it begins ME - ME - ME and India is forgotten.
THIS COUNTRY THAT HAS GIVEN ME BIRTH - THIS COUNTRY THAT IS MY MOTHER - THIS COUNTRY THAT IS MINE - Let me make my country the greatest in the sporting world and to that end let me sacrifise all - my mind, my body and my wealth.
SUMPOORNA is my battle cry - providing training facilities for basketball for those who donot have the opportunity - providing joy to the young sports persons - motivating them for excellence. Let them be in any nook and corner of India - we promise them opportunity to serve the nation by becoming a great sportsperson.