CAPT AMARINDER GIVES IN-PRINCIPLE APPROVAL TO INTRODUCING SPORTS PERIOD FROM CLASS I
Chandigarh, April 17: Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh on Tuesday gave in-principle approval to the introduction of the Sports period in government schools from Class I, even as he directed the Sports Department to work out the modalities for a health insurance schemes for sports veterans.
The Chief Minister, who was reviewing the functioning of the Sports Department, also asked the officials to relook the existing structure of cash awards to sportspersons who win medals in national and international games, such as Olympics, Commonwealth, Asiad etc, in order to boost the morale of the sportspersons.
In his directive to the School Education Department for introduction of sports periods in Class I, in place of the current Class VI, the Chief Minister said it was important to catch them young. Schools, colleges and universities should pro-actively intensify their efforts to promote sports in their institutions, he said, suggesting that the Sports Department should hire world-class coaches to train budding players in various sports. Captain Amarinder Singh urged them to make use of the state’s excellent infrastructure for hockey, football, basketball, volleyball, badminton, athletics, aquatics (swimming).
Noting that it was the government’s duty to fend for sports veterans who had done the state proud during their sporting careers, the Chief Minister asked the Sports Department to work out a scheme to extend financial aid for them. Pointing out that several such veterans were seen to be in the grip of ill health or age related complications, he asked the Secretary Sports to chalk out modalities for a health insurance scheme to ensure the best health and medical care for these veterans. He also suggested increase in the existing pension for sportspersons.
During the meeting, the Sports Secretary gave a detailed presentation on the activities and achievements of the department and apprised the Chief Minister that the department would soon come up with a comprehensive plan for setting up the state-of-the-art Sports University at Patiala, which was approved in the budget for the year 2018-19.
To further promote the sports culture in the state, the Sports Secretary also sought cooperation of the Chief Minister to issue directives to all the Public Sector Undertakings/Boards/Corporations to adopt a particular sports discipline to attract youth.
The Sports Secretary further emphasized the need to involve Deputy Commissioners, who were also the Presidents of District Olympic Associations, in promoting sports in a big way. He cited the example of Deputy Commissioner, Sri Muktsar Sahib, who recently organized a ‘marathon-2018’ at Gidderbaha to inculcate sports spirit amongst the youth.
The Sports Secretary mooted a proposal to launch a massive media campaign to popularize the concept of sports amongst the youth through a ‘Khelo Punjab Abhiyan’. Referring to the Haryana model in this regard, he called for government initiatives to promote Yoga in Punjab.
Later, the Chief Minister, who is also the Chairman of the Governing Council of Punjab State Institute of Sports, approved the agenda of its 3rd meeting with certain amendments and recommendations.
Prominent amongst others who attended the meeting were Education Minister Aruna Chaudhary, Media Advisor to CM Raveen Thukral, ACS Higher Education S.K. Sandhu, Principal Secretary to CM Tejveer Singh, DGP Administration M.K. Tiwari, Principal Secretary Finance Anirudh Tiwari, Principal Secretary Welfare R. Venkatratnam, Secretary Sports J.M. Balamurugam, Secretary Education Krishan Kumar, Director Sports-cum- Director General Punjab State Institute of Sports Amrit Kaur Gill, Secretary Personnel A. S. Miglani, DPI Colleges Harjeet Singh and DPI Schools Paramjit Singh, Director Administration.