Over 600 sportspersons drawing monthly pensions: Rijiju

Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju (Photo by PTI)

Over 600 sportspersons, including medal winners of Olympic and Commonwealth games, are getting lifelong monthly pensions under the Centre's "Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons" scheme, Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju said in Rajya Sabha on Monday.

The cases of players living in indigent conditions came to the ministry's notice and proposals were proactively processed, Rijiju said during the Question Hour.

"My ministry is also implementing the scheme of 'Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons' for providing lifelong monthly pension to medal winners of Olympic Games, Asian Games, Commonwealth Games, World Championships, etc after they retire from active sports. At present, 627 sportspersons are getting lifelong monthly pension ranging from Rs 12,000 to Rs 20,000 under this scheme," he said.

In another supplementary, Rijiju said sports being a state subject the responsibility for providing sports infrastructure rests with the states/union territories.

The Sports Authority of India (SAI) provides its facilities to all sportspersons and accredited coaches for free.

"We are not charging even a rupee for use of any stadium. This is a revolutionary decision. States should also open their facilities free for players," he said.

Rijiju also said that the Centre has urged the corporate sector to come forward to help players. 

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