The whole country was rightly mesmerized by Abhinav Bindra’s Olympics feat early yesterday, its not everyday that you hear India win medals at Olympics leave alone a Gold medal, however this win has not come easy, it has taken lots of hard work, determination, self-belief and financial backing from Abhinav’s parents.
Abhinav Bindra’s father runs a 100% Export Oriented Unit (EOU) near Chandigarh so its not suprising that he has his own training turf fitted with the latest equipment in shooting right in his own backyard in one of his father’s farm houses. It’s reported that Abhinav Bindra frequently travelled to Germany for training and has a dedicated foreign coach, not sure how many other sportsmen in this country can enjoy this kind of facility except obviously the cricketers. The sorry state of the training facility can be gauged by the fact that the Tughlakabad Shooting Centre which is considered to be the primary facility for training world-class shooters from India has not imported any equipment since the 1982 Asian Games. The situation is so bad that after every fire, the shooter has to manually calculate the score. Often the plea by shooters to upgrade facilities falls on deaf ears represented by bodies like Sports Authority of India (SAI) and the National Rifles Association of India (NRAI).
Its not just shooting, the pathetic state of affairs continues with other sports played at the Olympics. Sports in our country is under the clutches of babudom with inefficiency and slack engulfing the entire system, confirmed by the fact that the ratio of actual sportsperson and the officials accompanying them in Beijing Olympics is almost 1:1, it was worse at the previous Olympics.
What we need is a major overhaul of the entire sports infrastructure coupled with a strategy and stronger political will towards achieving greater Olympic glory in 2012 when the games will be hosted in London.