‘Sports’ being a state subject, the responsibility to promote and develop sports in the country, including tribal areas to enable tribal children to showcase their talent in traditional sports, rests primarily with the respective State/Union Territory Governments. The Union Government supplements their efforts by bridging critical gaps. However, the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports implements the following schemes for development of sports in the country, including the tribal areas across the country:
- Khelo India- National Programme for Development of Sports
- Assistance to National Sports Federations
- Special Awards to Winners in International Sports Events and their Coaches
- National Sports Awards
- Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons
- Pandit Deendayal Upadhyay National Sports Welfare Fund
- National Sports Development Fund
- Running Sports Training Centres through Sports Authority of India.
Details of the above schemes are available in the public domain on the websites of this Ministry and the Sports Authority of India.
Further, one of the verticals of the Khelo India Scheme, namely, “Promotion of rural and indigenous/tribal games”, is specifically dedicated to encouraging and showcasing of traditional sports of the country.
Also, Department of Youth Affairs through Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) conduct programmes for Promotion of Sports to develop sports culture among rural youth in 623 Districts across the country, including tribal areas. It has two components, namely,
(i) Providing Sports kits to Youth Clubs- Under this programme, sports kits are provided to selected NYK Youth Clubs so that they may undertake sports activities on regular basis.
(ii) Organization of Block and District Level Sports Meets- NYKS organizes Sports Tournaments at Block & District Level among Youth Clubs.
NYKS is implementing Tribal Youth Exchange Programme in collaboration with Left Wing Extremism (LWE) Division of Ministry of Home Affairs. The programme aims to sensitize LWE area tribal youth to the rich cultural heritage of the country, enable them to appreciate the concept of unity in diversity, expose them to development activities and technological/ industrial advancement in other parts of the country, develop their personality by enhancing their understanding of the needs and providing them necessary career counselling. During Tribal Youth Exchange Programme, traditional games and sports is also showcased.
This information was given by Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Anurag Thakur in a written reply in Lok Sabha today.