Congress vice president Rahul Gandhi on Friday pitched for sportspersons taking charge of the country's sports bodies instead of politicians, whom he advised to stay out.
"When you are talking about sports and how to make them accessible, more and more power should go to sports people when deciding things about sports in the country ... that is the crux of it ... keep politicians out of sports," Gandhi said.
Addressing a function to launch central government-sponsored schemes National Youth Policy, 2014 and Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here, Gandhi said the principle applies to politics as well. "If you want to change the politics in the country, give more and more power to young people ... to the common man," he said.
The Congress vice president further said that "building infrastructure" and "providing quality coaching to our young sports persons" should be the priority. "Our aim should not only be to increase our medal tally but have sports as a way of life among our youth," he said, adding that the country was at an important juncture from the point of view of sports infrastructure and ability. "Our country is now at a point where we can bid for Olympics," he said.
On the occasion, Sports Minister Jitendra Singh said: "Youth will play the most important role in successful implementation of these programmes." "They must engage with their elected representatives and work with the government to ensure that the benefits of these programmes reach them," he said. "Youth of India are the country's biggest strength and will play a key role in developing a strong and resurgent India," he added.
The two programmes were simultaneously launched at district headquarters and in universities throughout the country.
RGKA envisages over 6,500 sports complexes, one in every rural block of the country. Each complex will have 11 outdoor and give indoor games, three sports trainers, sports equipment and a youth resource centre.
Sportspersons like boxers Mary Kom and Vijendra Singh along with badminton player P. Gopichand were present at the event.