New Delhi: The Sports Ministry has dedicated a total of 143 Khelo India Centres across 7 States with a total budget estimate of Rs 14.30 Crores. These centres will be entrusted with one sports discipline each. The States include Maharashtra, Mizoram, Goa, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Manipur.
The States-wise bifurcation includes:
1. Maharashtra – Opening of 36 Khelo India Centres in 30 districts with a budget estimate of Rs. 3.60 Crores.
2. Mizoram – Opening of 2 Khelo India Centres in Kolasib district with a budget estimate of Rs. 20 Lakhs.
3. Arunachal Pradesh- Opening of 52 Khelo India Centres in 26 districts with a budget estimate of Rs 4.12 Crores.
4. Madhya Pradesh – Opening of 4 Khelo India Centres with a budget estimate of Rs 40 Lakhs.
5. Karnataka – Opening of 31 Khelo India Centres with a budget estimate of Rs. 3.10 Crores.
6. Manipur – Opening of 16 Khelo India Centres with a budget estimate of Rs. 1.60 Crores.
7. Goa – Opening of 2 Khelo India Centres with a budget estimate of Rs. 20 Lakhs.
The Khelo India Centres have been launched by the Sports Ministry in partnership with the State Governments to ensure the availability of grassroot-level sports infrastructure across the country. Speaking about the decision, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Kiren Rijiju said, “It is our endeavour to make India one among the top 10 countries in the 2028 Olympics. To fulfill this goal we need to identify and nurture a large number of talented sportspersons from an early age. With the availability of good coaches and equipment facilities at the district-level Khelo India Centers, I am confident that we will be able to find the right children for the right sport and at the right time.”
The Sports Ministry, in June 2020, had planned to open up as many as 1,000 new KICs over a period of 4 years, with at least one KIC in each district of the country. While 217 KICs had been opened across several States prior to this, it was decided that for the districts in North-East states, Jammu & Kashmir, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lakshadweep and Ladakh, there would be 2 KICs per districts as exceptions.
The respective state governments will now have to hire past champion athletes for all these centres. As part of the Government’s vision to strengthen the sports ecosystem in the country at the grassroots level, a low-cost, effective sports training mechanism has been worked out wherein past champion athletes would become coaches and mentors for youngsters, running sports training in an autonomous manner, and earning their livelihood.
The financial assistance will be used for remuneration of the past champion athletes as coach, support staff, purchase of equipments, sports kits, consumables, participation in competition and events.