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Corporate houses need to play a major role if we need to win more medals, says former Olympian Dipankar Bhattacharjee

By Abdul Gani
Corporate houses need to play a major role if we need to win more medals, says former Olympian Dipankar Bhattacharjee

Guwahati, July 28: Two-time Olympian and former badminton champion Dipankar Bhattacharjee thinks corporate houses need to play a major role if India wants to win more medals in mega global events.

Bhattacharjee who represented India in 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics also believes that sports is a mean of social upliftment and poverty alleviation.

"Extensive researches are being carried out to find out ways to optimize the potential of the human body and of the human mind. Hence, performance at the Olympics is largely governed by the incorporation of sports science into the coaching programmes," Bhattacharjee said.

"The various aspects of sports science being -- sports physiology, exercise science, bio mechanics, nutrition, psychology, mental toughness and physiotherapy."

He adds that there are experts available who are professionally offering these services these days. Even many top universities across the globe are offering degrees in sports science.

Presently, Olympic Sports in India and the various schemes are being funded by the central government through the Sports Authority of India (SAI) under the union ministry of youth affairs and sports.

However, these are not sufficient enough on some occasions.

"Government many a time is constrained by limited budget for sports. Hence, it is very important that the corporate houses participate in this noble mission through their hugely untapped CSR fund. The government may mandate the utilization of the CSR fund in full by each corporate house and a major chunk of the fund may be committed for the development of sports in the country," Bhattacharjee reckoned.

"Needless to say, such an act has the potential for catapulting India into a top sporting nation something we have always discussed about but yet to take any major concrete action."

He also hails the efforts of weightlifter Saikhom Mirabai Chanu who clinched silver medal in the 49kg category. Bhattacharjee feels that her feat has changed the fate of her family.

"The story of Mirabai Chanu is of special significance as it also has a social angle attached to it. Mirabai belongs to the Chanu clan of a remote village of Manipur very close to the border with Myanmar. Youngest of six siblings Mirabai and her family have a very modest background. Sports became a saviour for the entire family when Mirabai was selected by SAI under recommendation by the weightlifting federation as a prospective medalist in international events," he said.

"She was later recruited by North East Frontier Railways for sporting excellence. And now after her latest feat at the Olympics with the kind of recognition and rewards that she is likely to receive, India has uplifted a family and a community from extreme social backwardness and poverty."

Continuing with his words with Manipur, Bhattachrjee said that the state has produced some of the biggest sporting stars and they continue to do so.

"Manipur's involvement in sports is all pervasive. We find many coaches, referees, sports officials from Manipur offering their services in the development of sports in the country," Bhattacharjee who is now based in Mumbai said.

Recalling his association with Manipur, Bhattacharjee said: "I as a child was benefited by valuable coaching insights and inputs from some of the excellent Manipuri coaches like RK Nabachandra Singh and RK Sanahal Singh."

Manipur is also a state which has a rich cultural tradition but is trying to cope with poverty, social backwardness and unrest. Like Manipur there are many other states and provinces and areas in our country which are reeling under extreme poverty and social backwardness.

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