New Delhi, March 23, 2020:
Veteran Sports administrator BVP Rao has resigned as a member of the governing body of Sports Authority of India (SAI) for merging the Special Area Games scheme (SAG) with SAI Training Centres (STC).
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“I am deeply saddened that the Governing Body of Sports Authority of India ( SAI) has decided that Special Area Games Scheme ( SAG) will be merged with SAI Training Centers (STC) in it’s last meeting chaired by you on 13th March 2020,” wrote Rao in a letter addressed to Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju.
He viewed that merging of the SAG with the STC scheme is not a solution. Instead, he suggested that the SAG should have been revived and strengthened. The SAG, which also focuses on Northeast India, has been stressed on by Rao since it is meant for identifying the raw talent from tribal, coastal, remote areas of India on the basis of genetic and geographical advantage like archery in tribal areas, rowers from coastal areas etc.
SAG’s main aim was to tap into raw talent and train them make champions. Merging the SAG, with STC was opposed by Rao as the latter is meant for training of already practising sub-junior/ junior champions at state level to national level.
“I am told you seem to have commented that the SAG Scheme was working well years ago but it is not the same today. I agree with you to some extent. Over the years several bureaucrats who succeeded me and several Sports Ministers who preceded you, have watered down the SAG scheme for various reasons. If the SAG is not so effective as it was originally intended, is its merger with a already proven non working scheme like STC a solution?” he queried.
“What is astonishing is that some one like you, who hails from remote tribal state of Arunachal Pradesh, is not able see the importance of the SAG scheme which essentially focuses on the North East India. I dare challenge to you to explain to the Sports World what schemes of SAI or any State Government Scheme can serve or fulfill or replace the purpose of SAG? Or Under your leadership Sports Ministry is able tap the natural talent of remote and tribal areas of the Country? You need to answer these questions,” demanded Rao in his resignation letter.
He expressed “My only umbilical cord with Sports Authority of India has been the SAG scheme, which I conceived, planned and implemented for the first five years of it’s launch. As that connection is permanently destroyed, I don’t have any reason to be associated with SAI. Hence, I do here by resign as the member of Governing Body of Sports Authority of India.”
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