Altius Fortius Citius

first_imgA lady with a decade of experience with television and a zeal for sports has decided to give India a reason to smile. Meet Aparna Apte Gupta, documentary film maker, who has taken on the herculean task of revealing a sparkling side to Indian sports in a documentary called India Sporting Struggle. We call the task at hand a tough one as Gupta herself admits that we Indians have the terrible habit of harping on that that is bad with our country. We talk about crumbling infrastructures, lack of facilities and lack of government initiatives. Especially in the field of sports, we have all debated or heard people complaining about how Indians haven’t bagged enough trophies and medals in international events – we blame the government, we blame the players.  Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’Gupta points out that there are sports facilities that work on pay-and-use option and no one seems to be using them. These places were created for the recent Commonwealth Games and post the whole hoopla, now lie unused. ‘It is not like the government doesn’t do anything – it is time we accepted that there are shortcomings from our end as well,’ says Gupta. However she does admit that there is obvious scope for the government to up their efforts in this front, but the process must be two-fold.  Also Read – Leslie doing new comedy special with NetflixIndia has a very dismissive attitude towards sports says Gupta. Children are made to choose academics over sports as almost every parent considers sports to be a waste of time. Only in rare cases would people find parents encouraging kids to pursue a sport seriously. And then again cricket, tennis and now badminton get the thumbs-up while athletics, basketball, hockey, football, et all lie ignored. It is all about where the glamour lies and little glory.  Gupta blames the lack of awareness for this phenomenon, ‘Most people are not aware of sports that can offer ample chances to flourish. The motivation and the will is lacking because no one knows enough,’ she says. To turn the tide, Gupta has picked three child prodigies from the country. Shubham Jaglan (8) a milkman’s son is currently playing three Golf tournaments back to back in the USA. He has already won the World Championship. He’s currently playing the U.S. Kids Championship. Bipasha Mukherjee (14) is autistic. This January, Bipasha brought back a gold and a silver medal in Ice Speed Skating at the World Paralympics held in Korea. Bipasha’s parents have dealt with taunts from family members who value education more than anything else, says Gupta.  Prayag Chauhan (15) from Haryana, an automobile dealer’s son is a  boxer. Prayag’s parents pushed him and his brother into sports. Their parents have a passion for sports but struggled to deal with school authorities and family members who taunted them for ‘misleading’ their children. Even neighbours gossiped when Prayag’s mother learnt to drive so she could drive both the boys to training and back – such is India. Bringing their stories to the forefront will hopefully make people sit up and pay attention, explains Gupta. While her documentary is not necessarily a pro-government discourse, there are problems that the government must acknowledge and deal with – it is more about creating an awareness and trying to read the larger issue in Indian society which prohibits us from utilising real potential.last_img

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