Friday, January 22, 2010

Come forward to support Women's hockey: Gill to Indian Inc

With the national game suffering due to lack of funds, Sports Minister MS Gill today made an earnest appeal to Indian corporate sector to come forward in rescue of Women hockey team, which at this hour needs support and thus ''lift a finger for it to carry it's burden.'' Inaugurating ASSOCHAM organised 'Conference cum Exhibition Brand: CWG Delhi 2010' here, Gill explained that the government has it's limitations to raise funds and sponsorships for games like Hockey and especially for it's women wing which currently is in the dolldrums. ''You would be surprised to know that Youth Affairs and Sports Ministry is spending Rs 678 crore towards coaching and training of Indian athletes for Commonwealth Games 2010 in which major chunk is going to those close to 30 hired coaches from overseas land.

Perhaps CEOs of best known multilateral organisations are paid lesser than those coaches, India hired to train it's athletes,'' he said. ''The centre has been spending crores of rupees to ensure smooth and effective conduct of the 2010 Commonwealth games and therefore Indian business houses should liberally come forward, donating sponsorships for Commonwealth games to promote their brands but also carry burden for women's hockey team which needs fiscal assistance,'' he added. Responding to Gill's appeal, ASSOCHAM Commonwealth Games Committee Chairman, Vinay Rai committed a cheque of Rs 10 lakh to the Minister, which was pledged to be handed over by tomorrow morning. The Minister said despite apprehensions expressed and negativity attributed to hosting of CWG 2010, the Indian government and Commonwealth Games federation would ensure that the games would be hosted in the best possible manner perhaps better than those of last held in Melbourne.

''The Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range has been turned into one of the best sports facilities in the world and all shooting facilities worth naming are their and the range is well set to be inaugurated in next 10 days time and could be even earlier than that,'' Gill informed. ''Likewise, Dhyan Chand National Stadium has been completely overhauled and would also turn out to be one of the best stadia in the world. ''It's completion is progressing well,'' the Minister added. He reiterated that all the national stadia and sports facilities would be timely completed so that the CWG 10 games are held at the optimum satisfaction of all participants and when they return their respective homes after games are over, the sports person carry the best with them. Gill, however, regretted that since Commonwealth games were signed in 2003, in the following 5 years required infrastructure, sports facilities and all stadia meant to host the games should have been completed but things were not executed as promised.

However, work is now catching up and all planned events will happen in a manner intended for. R K Pachauri, Advisor, CWG 2010 and Director General, TERI suggested that Safdarjung Airport should be converted into a full forest to cleans Delhi's air and affforestation activities should happen in it without any delay. Creation of bio-walls should also happen without delay in and around here so that India succeeds in building a brand for commonwealth games. Among others who spoke on the occasion included Mr Shekhar Viswanathan, Dy Managing Director, Toyota Kirloskar Motor Pvt Ltd, Mr Harindra Singh, Vice Chairman and MD, Percept and Mr D S Rawat, ASSOCHAM Secretary General.

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