NEW DELHI, April 20: In a major policy initiative to boost sports activities in the region, the Ministry for Development of North Eastern Region (DoNER) has sanctioned cash awards to sportspersons who excel in international and national events, as part of a new programme named NEC Sports Initiative.
Minister of DoNER, Bijoy Krishna Handique, who is also the chairman of North East Council (NEC) formally, launched the NEC Sports Initiative scheme yesterday.
Under the scheme, sports personalities would be given cash awards ranging from Rs 10 lakh to Rs 40 lakh. For Olympic Games, Rs 40 lakh, Rs 20 lakh and Rs 10 lakh for gold, silver and bronze medal winners respectively.
For Asian and Commonwealth Games, sportspersons would be entitled to Rs 10 lakh, Rs 5 lakh and Rs 3 lakh for gold, silver and bronze medals respectively.
And for National Games, sums of Rs 3 lakh, Rs 2 lakh and Rs 1 lakh is proposed to be given to gold, silver and bronze medal winners respectively.
Handique said this benefit is in addition to the existing ones that are extended by the Ministry of Sports and Youth Welfare. This benefit will also be extended to those sportspersons from the region, who had excelled in the games held in 2010-11.
This is a comprehensive sports development and assistance programme by NEC towards nurturing young excellence in the region, the minister said.
The NEC Sports Initiative would emphasise on the scouting of young talents by extending infrastructure, training and other facilities with a long term plan for sports development.
�This initiative is a part of our ongoing efforts for promotion of youth in the region through culture, music and sports. Sports infrastructure and facilities in the rural belts are integral to the development of young talent in the region. It is our endeavour to ascertain that this is possible now. We have already charted out the modalities of this plan and will soon inform the State level agencies regarding its implementation. The programme would benefit young talents,� Handique said.
The NEC Sports Initiative would be implemented with the participation of different agencies like State Sports Councils and Authority, State Sports Departments and Sports Authority of India (SAI). The NEC would determine the eligible conditions for funding and the quantum of scale and assistance. NEC will provide assistance against agreed long term programmes.
The State agencies would be responsible for overall management, direction, control, regulation, promotion, development and sponsorship of the discipline for which there is scope for performances in the international arena. SAI will provide necessary support to State sports agencies for the identification, training and coaching of sportspersons including provision of infrastructure, equipment and other assistance as far as possible.
Further, NEC, in consultations with various State sports bodies have identified 19 disciplines to be covered under a special programme. The disciplines are boxing, judo, taekwondo, weightlifting, wrestling, archery, athletics, cycling, diving, fencing, shooting, badminton, table tennis, martial arts, golf, swimming, football and gymnastics.
The assistance would include grants for coaching camps, equipment, and participation in training programmes abroad, air passage cost for coaches as well as players and also administrative expenses in the form of honorium of the nodal officer nominated by the State to co-ordinate the programme. For long term development plans, the State Sports Department would be required to prepare detailed plans based on a five years cycle coinciding with a five year plan period.