Three paisa per person per day. That is what the Union of India spends for its sporting glory. The figure is straight from the horse’s mouth. Formally revealed in the Parliament by the Union Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore last week.
However, the per person actual spend goes up marginally when State governments’ sports budgets are also taken into consideration. In India, sports is a State subject. However, the best sports infra in the country is managed by the Central Government through Sports Authority of India, set up as a society under the Department of Sports in the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports.
The difference in the per Capita spent between India and China may be the simple and the best answer to the difference in performances of the two neighbouring nations at the Olympic and Asian Games level.
The total outlay for the department under the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for the year 2017-18 has been ₹1,393.21 crore.
According to the China Daily publication, the Central government in the dragon country has spent Yuan 316.5 billion ($1.33 billion / ₹ 8,442 crores). This amounts to ₹ 6 per capita annual spent on sports. The figure like India doesn’t include the State of corporate fundings or sports.
The CSR support for sports in India, too, has not been very encouraging. The Sports Minister himself had informed the parliament that the Union Government had received a mere ₹ 42 crore in corporate funding.
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“As per the figures of the Census 2011, the population of India is 121 crore. Thus per capita spend on the outlay of the department of sports of this ministry (Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports) alone is around 3 paise,” RVS Rathore had said in the Parliament.
“Apart from the Central and State Governments, many non-governmental organisations are also involved in the development of sports in the country. Therefore, the actual per capita, per day spend of India on sports is certainly higher than 3 paise at present,” Rathore added.
How each penny spent on sports translates into success at the Olympic and region games level reflects in China’s grand haul of 70 medals at the Rio Olympic games, where the Chinese athletes have returned a haul of 26 gold, 18 silver and 26 bronze to India’s two silver medals and a close fourth-place finish by gymnast Deepa Karmakar.