NEW DELHI: When it comes to receiving government funds, the shooters top the list. Out of the five sportsperson who received over more than Rs 1 crore grant from the Ministry of Sports and Youth Affairs in the last four years, four are shooters.
With the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) supporting the sportsmen for training and buying equipments, shooters Abhinav Bindra, Manavjit Singh Sandhu, Ronjan Sodhi and Heena Sidhu have been the beneficiaries. While 36-year-old Sandhu received Rs 3.06 crore in the last four years, Beijing Olympics gold medallist Bindra received Rs 2.3crore funding. Ace shooter Sondhi received Rs 2.1 crore, and Sidhu was given Rs 1.02 crore.
The only athlete to join the crorepati club is discus thrower Vikas Gowda. The 32-year-old athlete has received Rs 1.4 crore since 2012, and was given grants under the NSDF for training and buying equipment.
In all, the 109 sportspersons were given Rs 22 crore in the last four years under the NSDF. Out of the 109, 70 sportspersons are also been assisted under the TOP scheme aimed at getting medals in this year’s Rio Olympics. The government has disbursed Rs 674.68 lakh under the TOP scheme.
While, most of the funds are arranged by the government, it also relies on private and corporate donors for promotion of sports. Interestingly, the nature of donors appeared to have changed with the new government at the centre—from private donors to PSU and government-funded bodies.
In 2012-13, Jindal Sports International Limited donated Rs 10 crore, while in 2013-14, Jaypee Sports International Limited chipped in. However, in 2014-15, India Infrastructure Finance Company Limited (IIFCL), a government company, gave Rs 10 crore. In the current fiscal, Bank of Baroda has given Rs 10 crore, and Bank of Maharashtra donated Rs 10 lakh. Oriental Insurance has also given Rs 5.82 lakh to the NSDF.