‘Sports’ is a State subject and promotion of sports in the country, including promotion of Sports among rural youth is primarily the responsibility of the State Governments and the National Sports Federations (NSFs) concerned. The Central Government complements/supplements the efforts of the State Governments and the NSFs. Government is already running several schemes to increase participation of the rural youth in sports.
The Khelo India Scheme implemented by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports provides for promotion of sports among entire population including rural youth. Also, the scheme has a dedicated vertical, viz., Promotion of rural and indigenous/tribal games which provides for financial assistance to NSFs / Non Government Organizations (NGOs) etc for promotion of sports in the country including rural areas. Under this vertical, various NSFs have been provided financial assistance to hold competitions in various parts of the country including those in rural areas. During the period from January to October 2018, a total number of 36 such competitions / exhibition events had been held.
Sports Authority of India (SAI), an autonomous organization under the aegis of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, is implementing following sports promotional schemes across the country to identify talented sports persons in the age group of 8-25 years and nurture them to excel at national and international competitions:
- National Sports Talent Contest Scheme (NSTC)
- Army Boys Sports Company (ABSC)
- SAI Training Centre (STC)
- Special Area Games (SAG)
- Extension Centre of STC/SAG
- Centre of Excellence (COE)
- National Sports Academies (NSA)
Many of the sports persons identified under SAI Sports Promotional Schemes belong to the rural, tribal, backward, coastal and inaccessible hilly areas of the country and are provided with training facilities in the form of expert sports coaches, requisite playing facilities, boarding & lodging, sports kit, competition exposure, educational expenses, medical/insurance and stipend as per the approved norms.
In addition, Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS), an autonomous organization under aegis of Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports, undertakes programmes such as Block and District level Sports Meets, providing sports material to Youth Clubs etc., for popularizing and encouraging sports and develop competitive spirit among youth including rural youth. During 2017-18, a total 2965 Block level sports meets and 556 District level sports meets were conducted by NYKS.
The Government does not have any proposal for starting programme in addition to already existing programmes to increase participation of the rural youth in sports.