Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Satyameva Jayate - A ball can change the world

By: Team PenTastic

[By: Nimisha Acharya]

The one show which has single handedly revolutionized Indian Television in recent times is none other than “Satyameva jayate”. The third season of the critically-acclaimed show began on the first Sunday of October. Hosted by Aamir Khan, the former seasons of the show saw the actor earnestly highlighting the harsh realities of the Indian society, such as honour killing, female foeticide, child sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, untouchability, alcoholism and criminalisation of politics, among others. It is the one show which has dared to bring changes to the society where other TV shows promote regressive behavior.

It made a triumphant return to the small screen with the first episode titled as “A ball can change the world”. It saw Aamir take up the cause of sports in India with an aim to change the game. The episode talked about sports helping in rehabilitation of criminals and an opportunity for the people with lower economical backgrounds to make a career through sports. The episode told inspiring and interesting stories of people who bettered their lives because of sports.

Akhilesh Paul from Nagpur, went from a juvenile delinquent to teaching football to young children. A simple game earned Paul respect from the society, but mainly it helped him earn respect from his own. In 2010, he also captained India at the Homeless World Cup.

Gold medal winning wrestlers Geeta Kumari and Babita Kumari took the sport up after constant encouragement from their father. The sisters said that they completed their father’s wish of winning gold medals in wrestling. “If a woman can be India’s prime minister, there was no reason why she couldn’t be a wrestler,” the sisters’ father said.

A family of wrestlers shared the most heart touching story of a nine-year-old boy. Shubham Jaglan used to help the family by delivering milk in his village. He practiced golf in the fields and learned most of his shots from YouTube videos. He has been World Junior Champion and has won over 120 titles so far. Now the boy has the support of golfer Amit Luthra, which will help him achieve great laurels at an international stage.

Indian badminton star Saina Nehwal also made an appearance to share her story with the audience.
Aamir Khan spoke about the importance of children going out of the house and playing sports instead of staying indoors and engrossed in video games. ”It is so disturbing that they have forgotten how to play under harsh elements. Outdoor sports are also about socialising and realising the importance of team play. Besides, look at the violence in digital games,” Khan said.

“It's so sad to see the younger generation getting addicted to the video games. Schools are also to be blamed. Tell me, which school treats sports as an integral part of mainstream education?" he asked.

The numbers speak a harsh truth. India has won just 26 of the 12,796 Olympic medals awarded in the last 114 years. During the 2012 London Olympic Games, India did not win a single gold medal, although it got its best ever aggregate tally of six medals. That is, six out of 83 athletes won a medal. This so-called best performance in an Olympics so far, was behind countries such as Ethiopia, Latvia and Uganda. China with a population comparable to ours, won 88 medals. When you look at medals per population, India was last among the medal winners, standing at the 85th position. We had one medal for 207 million people. These numbers beg an obvious question: Why does the world's largest democracy not win enough medals in world sporting events?

Sports is one of the most neglected areas in our country. Parents who want their children to be doctors or engineers do not consider sports as a viable career option which results in the loss of many talents. With a population of over a billion, it is pitiable that we only excel in a sport which is played by only 12 nations. We get defeated by Germany, Australia and the likes in our “national game” hockey. We love football and cheer our hearts out for Manchester United, Real Madrid and AC Milan because we do not have decent clubs and a lowly ranked national team. Our Asiads performance was below par. Despite the dismal scenario there are some who overcome the hurdles and manage to make a name for themselves. But it’s not just about being a sporting star and winning accolades. Sports teach us a variety of things like discipline, team work, sporting spirit, leadership qualities which are very essential in every sphere of life.
 It is not a simple or isolated solution that can magically create medals for the country or better the sporting culture and ethos. It will take concerted efforts towards better infrastructure, administration, financial security and incentives for athletes, accountability of the organizations involved and the creation of role models, so that Indians across the country are inspired to play, and play to win.

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