Panchayat Yuva Krida aur Khel Abhiyaan: towards Making a ‘Sporting’ India

Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan

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By Anurag Jain
IIS Probationer, With inputs from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Govt of India

New Delhi, Feb 13, 2012 (Washington Bangla Radio / PIB India) Sport is an inherent aspect of social and cultural life of a country. Sport is also an integral component of education and human personality development. To make sporting culture as a way of life of people, there is a need for adequate sports infrastructure facilities. Around 770 million population in our country are children, adolescents and youth. Hardly, 50 million of them have access to organized sports facilities that too concentrated in urban areas. Around 75% population, living largely in rural areas, are deprived of rudimentary sports facilities. Severe inadequacy of sports infrastructure and community coaching facilities are the constraints for promotion and development of sports in the country.

As an endeavour to address the issue, Government of India introduced a nation-wide rural sports programme called ‘Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyaan’. PYKKA was conceived by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports in 2008-09 by creating a network of basic infrastructure and equipment throughout the rural India for promoting excellent sports culture among both boys and girls.  The underlying motive behind PYKKA is to universalise the Sports culture across India so that it not only becomes a part of formal curriculum, but also a dominant part of our lifestyle.

Presently, PYKKA covers 20 Sporting disciplines, namely Athletics, Gymnastics, Swimming, Badminton, Table Tennis, Archery, Wushu, Taekwando, Weightlifting, Cycling, Boxing, Judo, Wrestling, Kabaddi, Kho-kho, Hockey, Football, Volleyball, Basketball and Handball. These are the key Sports that have the potential because of their popularity. This potential needs to be tapped so that people start to see sport as something worthy.

PYKKA is being implemented on a Mission Mode with clearly spelt out Mission statement, objectives, implementing agency at Panchayat level, campaign and financing pattern. With this clear demarcation of goals PYKKA has been able to identify the right way to improve the Sports infrastructure across India. PYKKA has on its part been aiming to provide a “level playing field” to all. Since talent knows no bounds, no one should be deprived of participation- and excellence- merely because of lack of resources.

PYKKA has three major components: Infrastructure Component, Competition Component and Capacity-building Component. Infrastructure component aims at providing basic Sports infrastructure in rural areas so that rural populace, which forms the bulk of our population, does not remain deprived of exposure to sports despite having plentiful talent. Infrastructure component has three elements: One Time Capital grant, Annual Acquisition Grant and Annual Operational Grant. Under One Time Capital grant, Village Panchayats having a minimum population of 4600 receive Rs. One lac while block level PYKKA centres receive Rs. 5 lacs on 75: 25 percent basis between Central Government and State Government. Special attention is envisaged to give priority to the border areas where rural youths are misguided and weaned away by anti-social and anti-national elements.

Annual Acquisition Grant is provided to each PYKKA centre at Panchayat/Block level for a period of five years to acquire sports equipments, accessories, first aid and other medicinal facilities, and the like. The amount of grant is limited to Rs. 10 thousand and Rs. 20 thousand for Panchayats and Blocks respectively. On completion of five years it will be the responsibility of Sate/UT to provide for heads under this grant.

Annual Operational Grant is also for a period of five years for the purpose of honorarium to Coaches/Staff. The amounts earmarked for Panchayat and Block level are Rs. 12000 and Rs. 24000 respectively.

The second component, i.e. Competition component is concerned with organising PYKKA competitions across country at block, district, state, and national level. Competitions are important in their own right: they motivate others for success besides unleashing individual brilliance. PYKKA has rightly identified the lacunae in exposure to sports at grass-root level thereby organising the three different types of competitions regularly: Rural Competitions, Women’s Championships and Games/ Sports for North-eastern states.

There is the provision of Annual Competition Grant in PYKKA under which grants are released for organising competitions and distributing prizes to the winners. The amounts earmarked for organising competitions and for distribution of prizes at different levels are as follows:

S.N.

Level

Amount earmarked for Organising

Amount earmarked for Prizes

1.

Block Level Competition

Rs. 50,000/-

Rs. 45,000/-

2.

District Level Competition

Rs. 2,00,000/-

Rs. 90,000/-

3.

State Level Competition

Rs. 10,00,000/-

(Rs. 5,00,000 in case of UT)

20% of Total Amount i.e. Rs. 2,00,000/- in case of states and Rs. 1,00,000/- in case of UT’s

4.

National Level Competition

Rs. 70,00,000/-

20% of Total Amount i.e. Rs. 14,00,000/-

Moreover competitions are organised based on spatial trends: that is, the sports which are more popular locally out of 20 sports under PYKKA are given priorities. In this way at Block and District levels, events comprising of 5 sports are organised while at the State/UT level 10 sports are included in the competition. At the national level, all 20 sports are included in the competition.

The third component under PYKKA is capacity building. With a view to update knowledge of the Sports administrators, coaches, instructors, et al, who are engaged in the field of sports at the State/ UT level for development of Sports, a two-week programme is being regularly organised under PYKKA to meet the training needs of ‘Master Trainers’ at PYKKA Resource Centre (PRC) set up for this purpose at Laxmibai National University of Physical Education, Gwalior, Madhya Pardesh. These ‘Master Trainers’, in turn, train the ‘Kridashrees’- the trainers who work at the grass-root level. This circulation of skills is important in a vast country like ours where it might not be feasible to hold centralised programmes for everyone.

Only in its fourth year, PYKKA has several achievements to its credit. PYKKA has already extended its reach to all 28 states and 5 UT’s (rest 2 UT’s, i.e. Delhi and Chandigarh, have no Panchayats). As many as 20,000 playing-fields have been constructed under PYKKA at rural level. PYKKA competitions have noted huge levels of participation which run into several thousands. The North- Eastern states’ competitions have started to restore the feelings of integration amongst the people from those regions. The Women’s Competitions are acting as vehicles of self-confidence for women who deserve at least as much spotlight and focus as their male counterparts. Thus, in a way, PYKKA has caused a “paradigm shift” across different strata of society.

Moreover, PYKKA’s ability to integrate with other Government schemes has been immense. For instance, the constructive work under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) may, and has begun to, involve the construction and maintenance of playing fields under PYKKA scheme. Also PYKKA volunteers can, in future, draw people’s attention towards several serious issues such as illiteracy and malnutrition. Thus PYKKA has the potential to become a wave that informs every aspect of society. Maybe, in due course, the Scheme will have instigated a Sporting Revolution of sorts across India, thereby replacing the popular, though specious, notion that “Sport ruins”, by a unanimous conception that “Sport provides a way to well-being.”

- PIB Feature

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