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Need for a culture of sports

Abhinav Bindra has raised India’s honour and pride in the comity of nations by winning a gold medal in the shooting event after 28 years, that too, in an individual event. We must celebrate his glorious victory and the credit for this achievement goes to his coach and parents. The Centre, Punjab and many other states and organisations have announced cash awards which he rightly deserves.

Accolades are not sufficient. The Centre and the states should increase the budgetary grant for sports and take measures in raising the standard of sports and encouraging sports’ culture.

I endorse the view that when we compete at the international level, the sports culture of victorious countries, China in particular, should be studied. Here in the US, I see how students are engaged in different sports activities in all local playgrounds due to summer vacation. The primary class school children are actively involved in sports camps and practice. Governmental and social support right from the childhood stage will help India achieve its medal dreams.

OM GARG, Seattle (USA)


Abhinav Bindra has done us proud. Yes, he worked hard for the gold. He should be a role model for all are other athletes and sports lovers. We must study Abhinav’s lifestyle, his hard work and the coaching that he got in India, Europe and other countries. The part played by his parents, friends and well wishers is important. Above all, his temperament and how to keep cool under pressure need to be studied to help others achieve similar targets.

I would also like to ask how he finally decided to take the plunge in sports because he was good at studies too. My daughter is in Class XII. She is a national shooter (Air Pistol). She got All-India Sub junior Gold Medal at the Inter-school competition in Dehradun. She is very good at studies as well. In the present circumstances, she should not neglect sports. But should she concentrate more on sports rather than studies? Clearly, it has to be either of the two.



Abhinav Bindra winning a gold at Olympics implies that only those who are rich have some chance of winning a medal at the international level in the absence of adequate government support for coaching and practice of a sports like this. Only rich people can afford the costly training and expensive equipment which help them to excel.

India has a sports budget but that doesn’t make any good sport person since all the money ends up in the pockets of the ministers, bureaucrats and the officials.



It is a great success story for India. Naturally, we are thrilled to hear about Abhinav’s stupendous success. His near perfect 10.8 hit broke the claims of China’s Zhu Quinan and Finland’s Henri Hakkinen to silver and bronze respectively.

Bindra has even bettered the feat of double trap shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore at the Athens Games in 2004. We recall that India’s last Olympic gold medal was from hockey in Moscow Olympics in 1980. Abhinav made us proud by his brilliant performance and let’s hope for more success stories from Beijing. Well done, Abhinav!

A.R.K. PILLAI, Mumbai

Let’s learn from French

During a recent visit to Paris, I found full-time employees in France reading and relaxing in the gardens during broad daylight. The reason: they get at least five weeks off annually, a dozen public holidays and a maximum 35-hour-work week with no paid overtime.

While busy streets in Paris empty out in July and August, when most locals take their annual holiday, shops and businesses are often deserted for a month, sometimes longer. The French are so passionate about their vacations that they put pleasure before profit.

Surprisingly, however, French economy is healthier than India’s. French education is free from kindergarten to universities. Social security and health insurance cover the entire family.

On the contrary, we are so engrossed here with our 10-12 hour daily schedule that tea-time conversation is dead, kids see parents only at dinner, and month-long family vacation is a thing of the past.

If French have spent any time thinking at all, they will infer that a life of costlier gadgets and bigger houses but no leisure time is a poor exchange. It is time we learnt lessons from French.




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