Raipur, Sep 16: Chhattisgarh's tribal-dominated Bastar division will soon have an archery and a shooting academy to explore sports talent in the Naxal-affected region.
The academies will be set up with the support of National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC) under its Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programme, a government official said here today.
The decision in this regard was taken during Chief Minister Raman Singh's meeting with Union Steel Ministry Secretary Aruna Sharma, SAIL Chaiman P K Singh and other senior officials here on September 14.
"The state government is gradually trying to restore peace in Bastar and the initiative of setting up sports academies sends a clear message that it is committed to explore sports talents of backward areas," the official said.
Youths from the tribal community are generally good in archery as they pick up bow and arrow, the traditional weapons, in their childhood.
An archery academy will hone their skills and enable them to compete in national and international events, the official said.
"It has been observed in interior parts of Bastar that weapons entice tribal youths more towards Naxalism. Hence, setting up a shooting academy in the area will be a good option for youth to fulfil their desires, thereby excelling in the game," he said.
The main aim of these academies will be to search and nurture talents from remote parts of the state, he said.
The first phase of the academies is likely to start by March 2018, he said. The chief minister has also directed NMDC officials to develop a world-class athletic track in Bastar region.
It was also decided in the meeting that SAIL's Bhilai Steel Plant will set up a tennis and a basketball academy at Bhilai in Durg district. Besides, an international standard swimming pool would also be constructed in Bhilai under the CSR programme of the Bhilai Steel Plant, he added.