The sports ministry’s fixation with schemes has only added to the load of paperwork but made little difference at the grassroots. A prime example being the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan (RGKA) launched in February, 2014 — the year PYKKA (Panchayat Yuva Krida and Khel Abhiyan) was abandoned — with the aim of making India a sporting nation by 2020. It’s been more than a year but the plan is still in the ‘model’ stage.
Last year, for reasons best known to the ministry, it rechristened the PYKKA scheme as RGKA. The project was approved by the Cabinet on February 6 and the scheme was officially launched. RGKA’s focus was to provide basic sports facilities and equipment at the panchayat level and organise competitions at block and district level — same as PYKKA.
The only difference was the aim to setting up outdoor and indoor facilities under one roof.
A fabricated red and yellow model soon came up at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium complex, but little progress has been made ever since.
Under the scheme, the ministry was to prepare model indoor structures across the country, with the first one in the JLN Stadium. Initially, the plan was to build a badminton court and boxing ring along with a gym. Subsequently, the ring has been replaced with a table tennis facility and the gym has been closed.
If an official associated with the project is to be believed, the project is unlikely to take off this year as well. “There are no funds to move forward,” he said. Of the Rs. 200 crore sanctioned for 2014-15, half the money has been spent on competitions. The meets are held across the country in state or central government stadia, and at times in makeshift venues.
GSG Ayyangar, the key ministry official engaged in framing the guidelines, confirmed there had been a delay in implementation. “Due to change in funding pattern, the ministry is in the process of restructuring the scheme.”