Government Funding For Sports In India

In today’s era, getting educated and being a topper in studies are not the only requirement for a child to excel. Hobbies and passion also play a very crucial role in his overall personality development. Though, many take up education as a route to achieve success and stability in life, lucky are those whose passion becomes their career and they are happy in pursuing it. But to follow that passion, a lot of sacrifices have to be made, a lot of dedication is invested and more importantly a lot of support from the family is required. One such personality is Arjun Bhati, a young golf player from Noida, India.

At the age of 14, Arjun Bhati has shown the world that he is already a golf champion by winning the US Kids Junior World Championship in Malaysia wherein he beat golfers from 29 countries including America’s Askel Moe. Arjun is a 9th class student who started playing golf at a very young age. Initially his parents ignored his wish of playing golf but when Arjun kept on persisting to buy him a golf kit, they were taken aback. This was because he was talking about a sport that neither his father nor anyone else from his family had ever even thought of playing. Still, Arjun’s dedication for the game made his parents realized that he could do really well in it.

Golf, often perceived as a rich man’s sport, requires a lot of dedication as well as financial support. This is because the golf set itself is quite expensive and it requires maintenance on a regular time interval. But with Arjun showing enough dedication for the sport, his parents decided to give him the monetary support that was required to fulfil his dream.  But again, being from a middle class family, it was quite a tough task for his parents to arrange money for Arjun’s national as well as international tours. Where on one hand, his father worked hard in his business to fulfil the dream of his child, on the other hand, Arjun’s mother had to sell off her jewels to fund for his first international trip in 2015. So it was not only Arjun who had to work hard for his dream come true but also his parents who had to give their hundred percent in order to see their son at the top of the world.

Arjun has also been affiliated by UP CM Yogi Adityanath and has a cupboard full of trophies from all of his tournaments. At the age of 14 he is at a crucial stage of his studies and therefore it is important for him to pay attention towards his studies as well. In that matter, he seems lucky enough to have teachers in his school who are supportive and encourage him to follow his passion. As a young player, he has already seen the dream of being the top golfer in the world and be like his inspiration, Tiger Woods.

The only problem that hinders this situation is the lack of financial support. Though, Arjun has now managed to get financial funding from India’s biggest public sector unit ONGC, yet there is a need for  support from the government as well. Till now, almost all of his expenses have been met by his parents but that’s not enough. As a player of the country who wishes to bring Olympic medal for India, the government’s support is a must so that all of his requirements of nutrition as well as playing kits are met with and he is able to take his country at the top of the game.

Similarly, there are many sportsmen in our country who come from low income families and are unable to fulfill their dream of bringing laurels for their country just because of the lack of funds to support their expenses. And those who somehow manage to do so, have a family like Arjun’s to support them financially. For example, Hima Das, Indian sprint runner from Assam, has a family who depends upon farming to meet their needs. Due to unavailability of proper facilities she also had to struggle a lot to reach the place where she is at now.

In such scenarios, government funding and motivation are very crucial for the athletes, which in India is very low. Being a cricket lover nation, other sports like golf, wrestling and even para-athletics are unable to get adequate attention from our government yet alone be financial support. For example recently when PV Sindhu made history by winning gold in BWF Championship she was welcomed home by PM Modi himself and was invited at lunch by him. Whereas on the other hand, the para-athletes who won 12 medals in Para Badminton World Championship, could not get the same spotlight or appreciation in their home country. This again is a grim situation and needs to be addressed soon because it is sports that is constantly taking our country on the top of the world. Also, if on one hand education prepares the mind, it is sports that gives you life lessons and prepares your body for future endeavors, which again is very important.


A masters student interested in journalism as a career. I am a theatre artist as well and i love travelling, visiting new places, meeting new people and working with them.