On May 24, 2018, the government had notified a sports scheme called Scheme for Achieving Excellence in Sports at International Level.
The objective of the scheme was: to assist and promote individual sportsperson in his/her endeavour to successfully achieve the dream of excelling at international level , so as to bring laurels for himself/herself as well as the State of Goa and the Nation at large.
The eligibility (some of them)
l The concerned State sports Association recognized by Sports Authority of Goa should certify the sporting event the sportsperson is desirous of participating is a recognized event acknowledged /recognized by the concerned World Federation and the Indian sports federation for that particular sports.
l The sportsperson should submit a detailed plan about his training /coaching schedule at present and his future plan regarding the same in India or abroad which will prepare him /her for excellence at international level and highlight the level of training , the institute or coach imparting the training/coaching and the ultimate event for which the training/coaching is being planned and the cost of equipment and other support the sportsperson requires to fulfill his/her dream
l The detailed plan about higher level training /coaching will be examined /scrutinized by a five member committee comprising Executive Director, joint director ( coaching) and Joint Director( Accounts) SAG and two members of the association and submitted to the government for approval , with modifications if any.
l Quantum of financial assistance: The quantum of financial assistance will vary from case to case and would largely depend on the cost of training, its duration, place of training, cost of travel, accommodation, food……and will not exceed Rs 30 lakh in a year in each case.
The first recipient was awarded the scheme on August 6 of this year.
The Department of Information through one of its email stated:“Sports Minister, Shri Manohar (Babu) Ajgaonkar handing over a Cheque of Rs. 23,55,000/ towards betterment Sports Special Financial Assistance to Goan Mountaineer, Shri Rahul Prabhudessai for his Expedition to Mount Everest Attemp.”
Good for Rahul and good for people who try such attempts. But, the good for one appears not to have gone well with many sportspeople in Goa.
Rahul, records in Sports authority of Goa (SAG) indicate, attempted to climb a certain altitude of Mount Everest. He did not make it. But, he attempted and the Department of Information note explicitly mentions so.
When a government scheme is passed, there are a lot of strings attached to it and we call them procedures. Procedures have to be followed when a scheme is being awarded and procedures are laid down to avoid misuse.
Rahul will be remembered for not only being the first sportsperson to avail the scheme but could also end up being the first sportsperson to have availed a scheme with little procedure being followed.
This is how it works
l One of the conditions to avail the scheme is that the association has to write and give a reference about the sports person who is claiming the scheme. This was not done in this case.
l Details have to be submitted in a form regarding the training needed to be attended. This was not done
l Once, all documents are submitted the matter is placed before a committee that needs to scrutinise the application and it is the prerogative of the committee to decide whether the sportsperson is entitled to the scheme or not. The five member committee to study the plan never met.
These are just the basics that we are discussing.
Eligibility is the criteria on which all schemes are based. And, that eligibility is checked through a system of procedures. It is sad that few procedures were followed.
There have been sportspeople who have not just represented Goa and the country at international level meets and they have not been disbursed their daily allowance grants for events they participated. The atmosphere turns bitter when such disparities appear.
There are sportspeople in Goa who has excelled at the national and international level. Some of the sports are expansive affairs. Those who have the talent but who cannot afford normally end up giving up the sport while others hang in mid riff.
Schemes are laid down to help people with talent and in need of assistance. The Scheme for Achieving Excellence in Sports at International Level appeared good on paper. The manner SAG has gone implementing it has left sports stupefied.
Such schemes can spoil , sports broth.