Indian National Congress member and Member of Parliament for Thiruvananthapuram, Shashi Tharoor has called on the Government of India and Sports Ministry for better promotion of kabaddi. Tharoor believes kabaddi should be a gift from India to the world of sports and the country should make sure other countries pick on the sport.
"Kabaddi should be one of India's great gifts to the sporting world, but it is woefully neglected. We must take the lead in its international promotion. Hoping the government does more to tap this wonderful resource," he said on Twitter.
Tharoor asked the Sports Ministry a few questions, pertaining to the promotion of kabaddi and it's inclusion in the Olympics. He asked whether the Government has pushed all Asian countries, "including Korea and Malaysia" to ensure the inclusion of kabaddi in the Olympics since it has been included in the Asian Games. He also asked the Government to detail the measures it is taking for improving the standard of the sport in the country.
The Sports Ministry, in reply to him, said it hasn't pushed the Asian countries for kabaddi's inclusion in the Olympics but detailed the various steps it are taking to promote kabaddi within the country. It said it haas opened up SAI centres free of cost for people to have access to sports, including kabaddi. The sport has also been included in the Khelo India Games, which brings it more participation and visibility. The Ministry also said that 126 kabaddi athletes have been "selected under Talent Search and Development vertical of Khelo India Scheme for Long Term Athlete Development Programme."
Answer on Kabaddi continues on page 2: pic.twitter.com/OmmGKVl7c4
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) September 25, 2020
The Ministry also said it is assisting Amateur Kabaddi Federation of India for "training and competitive exposure within country and abroad."
Tharoor further questioned about the criteria for the inclusion of a sport in the Olympics and whether the Ministry has any concrete plans to propogate the sport internationally.
The Sports Ministry said the "inclusion of any sport discipline in the Olympic Games in decided by the International Olympic Committee (IOC)" and various criteria has to be fulfilled for that including the apt running of the sport by its international federation. It further said that promotion of the sport internationally is International Kabaddi Federation's job but it fully support the national kabaddi federation for competitive exposure and if any international event is held in India.