The actual potential of India will be shown in the 2028 Olympics which is to be held in Los Angeles and the country will come in the top ten medal tallies in the Olympics, said Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State of Youth Affairs and Sports, with reassured pride.
Speaking at the ThinkEdu Conclave 2020 on a session titled 'Look East: Within and Without', chaired by Editorial Director of The New Indian Express Prabhu Chawla, Rijiju said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi had constituted a task force for Olympics in 2017, which is rigorously being implemented now.
‘‘There is a cycle of around 8 to 12 years to produce a world champion — from finding talent, training and all kinds of scientific inputs and finally, performing at the world level. What we implement now in 2020, we will see the results in 2028,’’ the Minister said.
He said that India would go to the Tokyo Olympics with the existing talents and in the 2024 Olympics in Paris, a fair amount of reserve pool of talents will be showcased. "We have 20 per cent of the youth population in the world and winning just one or two medals in Olympics does not justify it,’’ he added.
The Minister pointed out that a society needs to have a sports culture to win gold medals in the Olympics. ‘‘If society as a whole does not promote sports as a way of life, it doesn’t become a culture. India can’t be satisfied with one or two medals and this is unacceptable to me,’’ pointed out Rijiju.
He urged people to watch sports other than cricket in order to bring revenue to other sports too. ‘‘We will have top schemes for future champions and stipends for players too,’’ he added.
Speaking about the North East, he said that people from other parts of the country had a strong misunderstanding in thinking about the North East and they had a psychological distance with the states. "There is a huge mental blockage (against the North East) and it is not good for our country,’’ he said.
The Minister also said that the Look East policy of former Prime Minister Narasimha Rao was not effective on the ground. ‘‘We just looked east but didn't act east. PM Modi changed the Look East into Act East, which means that the policy has to be backed by action,’’ he said, hoping that this policy would make the North East the economic hub of the nation.
Before the session concluded, Editorial Director Prabhu Chawla expressed happiness over the Minister’s move to convert sports into a culture in India.