An Indian must feel utmost pride in saying that, Hockey is our National Sport.
The long heights Indian hockey is touching today, is not much far from greatness is what feels our Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur; who on Thursday summarised the amount spent by the central government on Indian men’s hockey team during last five years.
“An amount of Rs. 45.05 crore has been spent on senior men’s team and Rs.20.03 crore on junior men’s team including all the expenses covering coaching camps, competitions all around the globe, equipment and salary of coaches etc; in the span of last 5 years”, said Anurag Thakur with a written reply in Rajya Sabha.
He also explained the role of the Khelo India Scheme, under which the government spent over Rs.100 crore in nearly 20 infrastructure projects for hockey since 2016-17.
The Indian senior men’s hockey team created history in the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo by clinching a bronze medal.
Sports Minister also gave information about the assistance being provided to over 800 sportspersons under the ‘Sports Fund for Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons’ scheme in the form of post-retirement monthly pension. The pension payments are made through the Life Insurance Corporation (LIC) of India, for which the Ministry purchases annuities for individual pensioners by making g one-time payment sent to LIC.
According to the MYAS, sportspersons who are Indian citizens and have won medals in Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cup/World Championship and many such games are given lifelong monthly pension after they attain the age of 30 years to retire from active sports.
At the moment, about 821 sportspersons are getting lifelong pensions under the scheme, as per the ministry data.