Member of Parliament (MP) from Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor has urged the government of India for the better promotion of Kabbadi. Tharoor said Kabaddi should be a great gift from India and the government should lead the world in the development of Kabbadi.
“Kabaddi should be one of India’s great gifts to the sporting world, but it is woefully neglected. We must take the lead in its international promotion. Hoping the government does more to tap this wonderful resource,” he said on Twitter.
The Indian National Congress(INC) member and MP from Kerala had put forward a set of questions to the Sports ministry. He had questioned the ministry about steps taken for the development of Kabaddi in the world and India’s stance to ensure the inclusion of Kabaddi in the Olympics games.
Tharoor specifically asked if the government had urged Asian countries like ‘South Korea and Malaysia‘ to ensure the inclusion of the sport in the Olympics. The game is already included in the Asian Games.
He also questioned the government whether the sport needs to be played in 75 countries for its inclusion in the upcoming Olympics. He asked the ministry the measures it has taken to develop the game in foreign countries.
Sports Ministry’s answer to questions by Tharoor
The ministry in reply to Tharoor’s questions said that it has not pushed any countries for the inclusion of the sport in the Olympics but pertinent steps are being taken to develop Kabaddi within the nation. The sport has been included in the Khelo India Games, which brings more popularity and visibility.
The government has opened Sports Authority of India (SAI) centers open to all so that everyone can have access to sports including Kabdaddi free of cost. A total of 126 Kabaddi players are selected under “the Talent Search and Development vertical of Khelo India Scheme for Long Term Athlete Development Programme.”
On the inclusion of Kabaddi in the Olympics, the ministry said that the inclusion of any sports in the Olympics is under the jurisdiction of the International Olympics Committee (IOC). It further stated that the promotion of game internationally is the job of the International Kabaddi Federation. However, the government fully supports the efforts of the Kabaddi Federation of India in the promotion of the game nationally.