Olympian Kheta Ram spurs Barmer to build Rajasthan’s first rural stadium | jaipur | Hindustan Times
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Olympian Kheta Ram spurs Barmer to build Rajasthan’s first rural stadium

Marathon runner Kheta Ram’s journey from dirt roads to Rio Olympics has not only highlighted the availability of talented sportspersons in Barmer, but also inspired the district authorities to promote them with possible facilities

jaipur Updated: Feb 05, 2017 22:44 IST
Mukesh Mathrani
The stadium, constructed at Somesara village in Baitu block of Barmer district at a cost of ₹27.29 lakh, has facilities for basketball, volleyball, kho-kho and athletics.
The stadium, constructed at Somesara village in Baitu block of Barmer district at a cost of ₹27.29 lakh, has facilities for basketball, volleyball, kho-kho and athletics.(HT Photo)

Marathon runner Kheta Ram’s journey from dirt roads to Rio Olympics has not only highlighted the availability of talented sportspersons in Barmer, but also inspired the district authorities to promote them with facilities.

Kheta Ram, a resident of Sihago Ka Tala in Barmer district, had got 26th position in the marathon event of Rio Olympics, 2016. He missed the medal, but his successful journey to the Rio Olympics has given the district authorities enough reason to provide basic infrastructure for the local talent.

And Barmer has become the first district in Rajasthan to have a rural stadium. The stadium, constructed at Somesara village in Baitu block at a cost of ₹27.29 lakh, has facilities for basketball, volleyball, kho-kho and athletics.

The district administration has sanctioned 170 rural stadiums in 17 blocks of the district under the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS), of which 10 have nearly been completed. The administration has sanctioned ₹24.28 crore for this purpose.

The authorities started working on the project in September last year and are hopeful that they will complete the 170 stadiums before March.

Suresh Dhadhich, additional district project coordinator of MGNREGA in Barmer, said there is a plenty of hidden sports talent in the district. He names Sumer Singh Rathore, an international marathon runner, and Deepa Ram, a cross-country runner. “These sportspersons can give Barmer an identity at national and international level and set an example,” he added.

“To bring this talent to the fore and following the Centre’s direction to club MGNREGA with the National Sports Policy, we are building several sports stadiums under the job scheme,” Dhadhich said.

Sportspersons have welcomed the district administration’s efforts. “I’m thankful to the district authorities, who understand the pain of rural sports talent,” said Deepa Ram, who is practising for the half-marathon event to be held in the Commonwealth Games, 2018.

“In the absence of such facilities we were facing a tough situation. These facilities have not only created suitable atmosphere for sports, but are also inspiring sportsmen like me to give our best,” he said.