'Private firms need to play an active role'

Sports Minister Ajay Maken Saturday urged India’s private sectors to play a more active role in supporting the country’s budding sportspersons in order to fuel their Olympic dreams and added that he had asked the NRAI to import ammunitions to make shooters’ life much easier.

“SAI till now was importing ammunitions but as it often gets stuck in wrangling, I have asked the NRAI to import ammunitions, so as to broadbase the sport,” Maken said on the sidelines of a felicitation ceremony organised jointly by NRAI and FICCI in honour of London Olympics silver and bronze medallists Vijay Kumar and Gagan Narang respectively.

“You would be surprised to know that out of the 81 athletes for London Games, 65 are employed with government sectors. That shows that the private sectors need to provide more support.

“They should scout young players and support the 12-13-year-olds. On February 4 last year, I had called a meeting of sports ministers of all northeastern states and private sectors here and urged them to do more. We are all stakeholders,” he said.

Asked about army shooter Vijay’s grievance over promotion in his job, Make said: “It is a shame that sportspersons have to ask for promotion. They are the pride of our country and we should not wait for them to ask for promotion. They should be given with all the honour.”

He further stated that “SAI has 200 vacancies for coaches”. “All Olympians would be recruited as Group B level officers, for example a DCP in Delhi. While the medallists would be recruited as Group A level officers, like IAS level posts,” he said.

Maken also said that the cabinet has passed a resolution under which all athletes who have played in Asiad, CWG, World Championships and those who create records in nationals would immediately get out-of-turn promotions.

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