Goel promises to support 1000 talented kids every year

Sports minister Vijay Goel said the government will spend Rs. 5 lakh each a year for 1000 talented kids, identified through the Talent Search Portal, for eight years.

“We will keep identifying 1000 kids every year and include them in the scheme,” said Vijay Goel.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Scotching rumours that Aadhar had been made mandatory for kids participating in the National School Games, Sports Minister Vijay Goel on Friday said that it had only been made an option to facilitate the transfer of prize money for victorious students to their bank accounts.

Speaking to journalists at an Indian Women's Press Corps interaction, Goel said if any school had said it was mandatory, he would look into it. He also detailed the ministry's plans vis-a-vis trainees selected through the proposed Talent Search Portal.

“The government will select 1000 talented kids and spend Rs 5 lakh per year each on training them, for a period of eight years,” Goel said, adding that it would not be a one-time scheme. “We will keep identifying 1000 kids every year and include them in the scheme,” he said.

The portal, which is yet to be launched and would initially be in Hindi and English, was in the process of being translated into regional languages as well, he said, though the criteria for selection of kids was yet to be formulated. The portal aims to allow talented kids to upload their details and achievements, bringing them directly into the system.

Asked about the enquiry constituted into the recent incident involving para swimmer Kanchanmala Pande, who was left to fend for herself in Berlin due to lack of funds, Goel said he would comment only after receiving the report.

“Everyone has his version. I spoke to the CEO of the Paralympic Committee of India (PCI) and was told the amount could have been released only after approval from the court-appointed receiver Justice Kailash Gambhir, who was unavailable. I will be able to say something on this after I get the report. We don't want to interfere in the functioning of NSFs but we are keeping a check,” he said.

The govt. had released funds to the PCI but legal dispute between two factions in the federation meant it could not be forwarded to the athletes. Goel also announced the constitution of a five-member committee, chaired by Additional Secretary Kiran Soni Gupta, to look into grievances of sportswomen.

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