One thing is, for one billion people we do not have enough sport. For the one billion people that we have, we should have a team for every game on the planet. When a country like Costa Rica, with a population of five million, can send their team to the Football World Cup, why is it that with 1.25 billion people, we cannot produce a team?
This is simply because we have never taken sport as an important part of our life. In many ways, we have dropped our playfulness in this country, for which we are paying a very heavy price. It is time we bring back sport on all levels.
In schools, it is very important that at least fifteen to twenty percent of the time is spent in sport to make the child playful. A lot more can be taught to a child by making him playful, rather than just making him sit in a corner in a classroom. His body and his brain have to develop and become agile. If your physical body and your brain are not agile, what are you going to teach to that child?
It need not always be competitive sport. It can just be fun games, but people should play. It is very important for the physical body and the brain to develop. Only then can we develop a humanity which is competent. If that competence is not built at an early age, then later on, most people in the country will not be fit.
Fit for Life
Fitness levels are generally low in India. In the last few years, a little bit of enthusiasm has come, but that is only in a certain segment of society. This has to spread across the country.
If we want to build a great nation, first of all we should have healthy and strong people, and sport can play a very important role in making that happen. Without building individual human beings properly – well nourished, healthy and agile – you are not going to build a great nation. There is no such thing as nation – there are only people, and in this, sport has a significant role.