EDITORIAL

Hima’s feat and road ahead

Assam’s very own girl Hima Das waving to the crowds from the Gold Coast  Athletic are in Australia while getting ready  for the 400m fil race is a photo frame event for the state but for the entire country. What Hima’s  feat has done is that it again bought to the spotlight the issue that in the population of 1.34 billion there is no dearth of talent only it needs a proper mechanism to unearth that hidden talent.  The 18-year-old athlete, who hails from a remote village in Dhing under gaon Lok Sabha constituency in central Assam, clocked her persol best of 51.32 seconds to finish sixth at the fils on Wednesday.
In  recent past, the list of sport person from Assam who made India proud in the intertiol circuit has increased by manifolds. The pugilist Ankushita Boro, is another rising star in intertiol women boxing circuit. The 17-year-old girl hailing from a nondescript village in Sonitpur district has captured the imagition of the sporting fraternity after she won a gold medal gold in the light welterweight category (64kg) by defeating Ekateri Dynnk of Russia in the AIBA Women’s Youth World Boxing Championship held here last year. Parag Riyan, a budding cricketer from Assam in his teens also hog the limelight when he represented Indian in the under 19 cricket world cup in England which India won.
It is very heartening to note that so many sport star are scaling heights in the intertiol level. But the question needed to be asked here is that all of them did it on their individual brilliance or in persol capacity or the state played any  role in their effort. After BJP government assumed power in the state, Chief Minister Sarbanda Sonowal who is a sports enthusiast has put lot of emphasis in organising sporting event in the state. Even Guwahati is now being dubbed as an emerging sports capital of the country. But in hype and hoopla, state government seems to have  missed an important point of bringing about structural changes in the sporting scerio. The stark example of it is that the state till now doesn’t have a sports policy which is a long pending demand of sports fraternity. A sports policy will help the development of infrastructure and motivated the youths to adopt a professiol attitude. Sadly,  lawmakers in the state are onlyinterested in photo ops with sportpersons who bought laurels to the state but has not done anything concrete on the ground to promote sports in a holistic manner. Apart  from cosmetic gesture like announcing a government job, or a cash reward nothing tangible has been done to boost up the sports facility in the state.
Notably, in a cricket frenzy tion it was welcome change that Hima’s performance has not gone unnoticed among masses especially in her home state Assam. The rise of new breed of sport persons from the region  will go a long way in generating interest in youths taking active part in like gymstic and athletics where India fared very poorly when it come to big stage like Olympics. But state needs to get it act together and first and foremost guarantee fincial security to the rising sport persons. Nothing would change until we change our attitude and government takes the lead.
Many sports historian have pointed out that India does not have a sports culture Indian athletes who have achieved intertiol success are exceptions rather than products of the country’s sports system. This concept has to change otherwise athlete like Hima who sacrificed a lot for the game will get lost in oblivion if her spirit is not respected and ignored by the tion.