New Delhi, Jul 9 (UNI) Haryana Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Kiran Chaudhry today urged the Central Government to make sports an integral part of the informal education besides expanding and strengthening the sports infrastructure of rural areas of the country to tap hidden sports potential of these areas.
Addressing the conference of Sports and Youth Affairs Ministers and Sports Secretaries of all the states, she emphasised that there was an urgent need for developing sports infrastructure of rural areas in a phased, time-bound and systematic manner.
She said, ''the amount released by the Central Government for the promotion of sports should be spent through Panchayats instead of Nehru Yuva Kendras.
''Besides this, the committee constituted for the infrastructural development of sports should be constituted under the chairmanship of Sports Minister instead of Chief Secretary,'' she added.
She demanded that sufficient funds should be provided by the Central Government to open more sports nurseries in the rural areas.
This would bring forth the hidden sports talent of rural areas.
It was our responsibility to give honour to the players and to bring uniformity in the prizes given to the sports winners of the country and to enhance the cash prizes.
The Sports and Youth Affairs Ministers and Sports Secretaries of all the states were present in this conference held under the chairmanship of Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs M S Gill.
On the sidelines of the conference, she informed that as many as 1240 Village Panchayats of Haryana would get a sum of Rs 15 crore for adding new sports facilities according to the popular games of their respective villages to develop and tap the budding sports talent under the centrally sponsored scheme, Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan (PYKKA).
Mrs Chaudhry said the scheme was aimed at achieving the goal of providing basic sports infrastructure and equipment at the panchayat level and encouraging sports and games in rural areas through annual competitions at the block and district level. PYKKA would also deepen and widen the seedbed of sporting talent, leading to better performances by the sportsman at national and international events.
She said besides this the Central Government had accorded approval in principle to 42 sports stadia projects in Haryana under which the State Government would get a sum of Rs 2.60 crore for the development of sports infrastructure in the state.
The Minister said apart from rural sports facilities, the Union Minister had also approved projects worth Rs 1.67 crore to promote youth affairs which would give impetus to activities for youth development.
UNI BBS RAR HT1918