Rashid Paul

 “In Kashmir, there is no place for youth to play”

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 HC raps govt for scanty sports infrastructure, training facilities in J&K

Srinagar, Dec 10: J&K has 137 playfields against a requirement of 2500 for a population of 1.25 crores.

Taking cognizance of this wretched state of affairs of the sports infrastructure in the state, the J&K High Court today sought information about the sports facilities in the state.

According to official sources, J&K is unable to sublimate the energies of its rapidly increasing younger generation. It has only 137 playfields against a requirement of 2500 for a population of 1.25 crores.

Most of these playfields are located in urban pockets leaving virtually neither the playing space nor the equipment of training for the youth inhabiting its rural areas, say the sources.

Taking suo moto cognizance of the extremely scanty sports facilities and training for youth in the state, the High Court said the situation “depicts an extremely unfortunate state of affairs with regard to facilities of sports in the state”.

The court directed the concerned authorities to prepare a list of the available sports and training services in the state.

“The availability of the equipment for various sports in the state should be indicated besides circulation of the list of the various sports federations,” it directed.

Counsels appearing for the state prayed for a short adjournment to place an action plan setting out the objectives, steps to be taken and the time-lines for implementation before the court.

The court appreciated the request and fixed the hearing of the matter for 17th of December.

The court said that information gathered by it through various media speaks volumes about the lack of availability of necessary infrastructure and opportunity for the children to participate in sports and compete even in national school games.

The court also took a report on record whereby an Advisor to the Governor of the state claimed “the government will take sports to next level in JK”.

The court observed that a huge impetus is given to sports by champions and great players at individual levels in some of the sports in other parts of the country.

These former champions have eased creation of facilities and trained many other champions in their respective games, it added.

As such the court directed the amicus curiae to reach out to the Pullela Badminton Academy (created by Pullela Gopichand), Prakash Padukone Badminton Academy, Mary Com Boxing Academy and Tejpal Dhaliwal Basketball Academy to suggest the manner in which these games can be encouraged in the state of Jammu & Kashmir.

“Their assistance for developing facilities and training in their sport in J&K can be requested,” it said.

The court asked the amicus curiae to contact these academies.

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