The Fact News Service
Chandigarh, December 30
Restoring the lost glory of Punjab in the field of sports and making the state a leading state again across country is the top priority of the Punjab government led by Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann.
To achieve this goal, increasing the sports budget for the year 2022-23 by 38.14 per cent compared to the previous year, was the first groundbreaking step taken by the Punjab government. A total budget of Rs 229 Cr was allocated. Throughout the year, special efforts were made by the government in the field of sports.
Divulging further details, Sports Minister Gurmeet Singh Meet Hayer said that on the directions of Chief Minister Bhagwant Mann, the department organised ‘Khedan Watan Punjab Deya-2022’ from the block to the state level. For the first time in Punjab, online registration of players was conducted in these games. About 3 lakh players participated in 29 sports, while the number of players in the previous games did not exceed 20, 000.
The Chief Minister inaugurated these games on August 29 (National Sports Day) at Jalandhar by playing volleyball himself. Prize money of Rs 6.85 Cr was distributed to 9961 winning players to encourage budding players to enthusiastically participate in sports and stay away from drug menace.
In this year’s Commonwealth Games held at Birmingham, 19 players from Punjab won three silver and four bronze medals in hockey, cricket and weightlifting. Apart from this, four players participated in judo, cycling and athletics. 23 Punjabi sportsmen were honoured by the Chief Minister with total prize money of Rs 9.30 Cr. The first time cash prize money was given to the players who participated in the games.
A scholarship scheme was launched in the name of Hockey Olympian Balbir Singh Senior to encourage the budding players of Punjab. Under this scheme, a budget provision of Rs.12.50 Cr has been made under which any medal-winning player in Senior National Competitions will be given a stipend of Rs.8000 per month and Rs.6000 per month to the winning player in Junior National competitions for one year.
A committee of sports experts has been formed to make an effective sports policy to raise the level of sports in Punjab, give honour to the players, give jobs and draw long-term plans, based on the report of which the policy will be implemented. During this session, 4750 players were admitted to sports wing schools and 1000 players to sports wing colleges. A plan was drawn up for the new recruitment of coaches. The budget was announced for rowing sports boats and shooting ranges.
According to the decision of the Chief Minister, this year, the Youth Services Department has relaunched the Shaheed-e Azam S. Bhagat Singh state youth Award for the youth of the state. Two youths from each district will be selected for the award and will be honoured with an amount of Rs. 51,000, a medal, and certificate. As it was decided to resume this award which was stopped for many years, the state-level inter-university youth festival, which was not conducted for many years, was organized this time in December at Punjabi University, Patiala. The motive of this youth fair is to connect the youth with a rich heritage.
Likewise, the Department of Youth Services conducted inter-state tours of 300 youth of the state to understand the culture, atmosphere and customs of the state by sending the youth to other states. Moreover, a youth training workshop of 200 office bearers/members of rural youth clubs was also conducted.