Chak De! Haryana
First there was Chak De! India, then that fantastic Asia cup victory by the Indian men’s hockey team, then the protests by players anguished at how their outstanding work got completely overshadowed by the cricketers who got rewarded handsomely for their world cup win. Now take this.
Haryana government is setting up hockey stadiums in 50 villages, each with an investment of Rs 50 lakh (5 million). Most of the money for this is going to come from the central government. Once the stadiums are setup, the players will be given hockey sticks and balls free of cost. When they talk of grassroots development of the sports infrastructure, this is how it is supposed to be done. Kudos to the government for this initiative.
Another heartening initiative coming from former Indian captain Rajesh Chauhan who has formed the Jai Bharat Charitable and Welfare Trust to “groom players from the rural parts of the state so that the players will one day win an Olympic gold for the country and restore the golden period of Indian hockey to where it was.”
A couple (more) steps in the right direction, we say!