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Take stepsto save Indian sports

I fully agree with the views expressed in the editorial, Fame, shame, action (July 7) that at last the Union Sports Ministry has woken up and decided to take action against the culprits in the doping scandal. But this mess has been around for quite a long time, and it is surprising that our authorities do not seem to have an inkling of what is going on. It is not enough to punish just a few and then decide that the system is now clean. It is, quite rightly, a systemic failure.

The problem with the entire system seems to be that of impatience. We want quick results, and we have decided that the only way to get that is by consuming performance-inducing drugs! There is no planning to build up the players over a period of time. If we want to compete with foreign players, we have to start early. We must look for talented youngsters, catch them early, and train them over a period. I am sure they will bring positive results for us. But that does not happen.

In China, they start training boys and girls at an early age. This is the reason why China, despite being a developing country, is doing well in sports. Just looking at our soccer team, I feel extremely disappointed. There does not seem to be any desire to enhance the performance of our team. Another aspect is that we have lost complete faith in our own coaches. It is not that Indian coaches cannot train well. They are equally good. But we need a proper system in place. If we go to our rural areas, we do not find good conditions for sports.

While we have the talent to compete internationally, we lack the will to develop that talent.

May be, our sportspersons need the services of psychologists, besides physical trainers. This step has helped Indian cricket. It will, I am sure, help other sports as well. If we can bring foreign coaches, why can we not bring psychologists from abroad? If we are serious about Indian sports, I am sure, we will think of remedial measures.


Threat from China

The article, Checkmating the Dragon’s growing influence (July 6), raises important issues that are of strategic importance to India. It rightly talks about how India is being marginalised by China. China is winning over neighbours with its so-called policies of friendship, peace and cooperation. China has cleverly exploited the not-so-friendly relations between India and Pakistan, and established a strategic alliance with Pakistan. The presence of PLA soldiers in the Gilgit area is a matter of serious concern.

India should have opposed it. Also, the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan will provide Beijing another opportunity to expand its influence. China’s economic growth is helping it to gain hegemonic power in the region. Moreover, China’s claim on Arunachal Pradesh doesn’t rule out another 1962-type aggression.

It will always be favourable for India if the US maintains its presence in Afghanistan. The writer’s advice to India to improve relations with its neighbours, including Pakistan, to counter Chinese influence is praiseworthy. If India fails to take the necessary proactive measure, China will continue to prevent the emergence of rival powers.


Nuclear family

This refers to the editorial,Venerable, also vulnerable: Elders need special attention, care (June 16). We have to be very clear that it is our responsibility to look after our elders. If we are not in a position to look after them, we should accept it and make alternative arrangements for them. In developed countries, there are homes for the old. We also have them in India, but we try to avoid them.

This is not helping us. Elders need love and care, but if family members cannot find time for them, there is no point in keeping them home unattended. In the past, joint family system had an advantage. No one would feel unattended because there were always people to look after. With the coming of nuclear family, things become complicated when a member needs assistance and attention and there is none to give him. Everyone is busy these days.

While children go to school, parents are mostly employed. The grandparent finds himself lonely. This leads to family problems and a stressful life for everyone. So, we should not be against homes for the old, where they get others to talk to. Their life improves when they are in the company of others.

P K BAJAJ, Mohali

Farmers’ interest

The news item, Acquisition of farmers’ land in Greater Noida quashed (July 7), unfolds the sinister ways of the UP Government in fleecing poor farmers to help private builders raise multi-storied residential apartments. The administrators, instead of complying with the rules, bend them to the advantage of the rich.

The Supreme Court has done well to save the interests of the farmers, and fined the government authorities for their wrongdoing. A proper Land Acquisition Act should now be enacted keeping in view the public interest. The fine should be recovered from the erring babus and people’s money should not be used to pay it. I hope that this Supreme Court order awakens all concerned and motivates them to function selflessly in the interest of the nation and for public welfare.


Use resources judiciously

The middle, A lesson in frugality (June 17) by M S Tandan, quite rightly says that we do not think about our own society or about the generations to come. We waste so much food every day. I agree with the statement that money may be ours but resources belong to the society. Poverty is the worst condition of life, and there are many who live below the poverty line and cannot even fulfil their basic needs. We, on the other hand, waste our resources. Besides food, we waste water, electricity and other resources. Both water and electricity are not used efficiently. Do we always turn off the tap when we see the water flowing? Do we always switch off the fan when not required?

Big industrialists pollute water and air, and the government takes no action against them. We need inspiration from the developed countries. They are successful because they are efficient in whatever they do. They favour sustainable development. However, nothing is impossible. We should start using our resources judiciously.





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