Monday, June 24, 2024

Wasted investment

Development means planning and planning means collective wisdom and application. Blind imitation is not planning; improvement according to the needs is planning. In this age of high tech and innovations, advanced nations strive for new inventions that have relevance to the contemporary life. But it is sad to say that in India in general; and Nagaland in particular, we lack the urge for innovation and originality. We want to move forward and enter the new age of technological advancement but we do not understand that those who have driven their countries to the heights of technological perfection have done so after spending a lot of energy in planning what they want to do and how they do it. It is unfortunate that we in Nagaland lack that urge and that initiative. The result is that our resources are squandered and wasted without achieving anything. A case in point is of how the state is handling the most cherished and liked activity called sports. There is no need for speaking at length about the tremendous interests that our youth, males as well as females, are evincing in sports. Perhaps this activity is much more interesting for the youth than any other. Just observe how the people, young, old, men and women are glued to their televisions when some sports of national or international level like football (especially world cup football), cricket, tennis, badminton, etc. are played. It is a rare occasion in one’s life to watch the celebrities performing on the ground. The simple inference any watcher draws after watching the great players engaged in contest is that what a potential lies hidden in human beings which when unleashed becomes an art of greatest impact. Each country in the world and each people want that they should produce sports celebrities to be reckoned among the great of the world. But these celebrities are not thrown up just by wishful thinking. The states have to invest in them just as we invest in some plan or scheme and then at its proper time we have the pleasure of having its result. Likewise, the state needs to invest in games and sports, of course in all of their branches, to nurture the talent that remains hidden. For this purpose, we have to follow the policy of ‘catch them young’. The hunt for talent has to be made in both urban and rural areas of the state. Incentives have to be provided, proper coaching has to be done, excellence levels have to be fixed and perhaps much more needs to be done. The government is seized of the entire issue and is keen that our youth should be inculcated with the spirit of loving and taking active part in sports and athletics. The recognized practice all over the world is that the fundamental requirement to achieve the objective is to have the stadia that respond to all needs of sportsmen and athletes. Sports stadium in modern times is a comprehensive complex for which standardized planning is done according to the needs like availability of the space, expected number of spectators, residential quarters for the sportsmen/women, athletes, staff, trainers, etc. All this needs discrete and sensible planning and not haphazard approach that will result in the waste of money invested. The state stadium in Dimapur is an example. How much money has been wasted and how much enthusiastic spirit has been dissipated. The youth, who we would have produced champions from among them, have been left wanting and had been deprived of their urges for excellence. This all has happened owing to incompetence and wasteful planning. If a team of national level planners had been invited to visit the spot and prepare the blue print and then the plan was submitted to an expert committee for opinion and inspection on spot, the stadium would not have met with the fate that has befallen it. It is time we have a committee of technical experts to suggest planning and execution of projects for developing games and sports in the state.