PYKKA - to Usher in Sporting Culture in Rural India

Sports is an inherent aspect of social and cultural life of a country. Sport is also an integral component of education and human personality development. To make sporting culture as a way of life of people, one needs adequate sports infrastructure facilities. Around 770 million population in our country are children, adolescents and youth, hardly, 50 million of them have access to organized sports facilities that too concentrated in urban areas. Around 75% population, living largely in rural areas, are deprived of rudimentary sports facilities. Severe inadequacy of sports infrastructure and community coaching facilities are the constraints for promotion and development of sports in the country. As an endeavours to address the issue, the Government introduced a nation-wide rural sports programme called ‘Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan’ (PYKKA) in the year 2008-09. This scheme aims at creation of basic sports infrastructure in 2.5 lakh village panchayats and 6,400 block panchayats (and its equivalent units) in the country, in a phased manner, over a period of 10 years, at an annual coverage of 10% for normal States, and 20% for border states and special category, including North Eastern States. The scheme also provides 100% central assistance to States/UTs for holding annual rural sports competitions at block, district, state and national levels. Separate funding is also made for conducting National Women Championship, Inter-School Competitions and North East Games. A plan outlay of Rs.1,500 crore has been approved for the Elevanth Five Year Plan period. A plan outlay of Rs. 1,500 crore has been approved in the Eleventh Five Year Plan for the PYKKA scheme. Financial Assistance is provided to State and UTs based on submission of proposal and fulfilling terms and conditions provided in the scheme. The scheme caters to both participative and competitive sports; and also encourages inclusiveness of sports and gender equality. It encourages convergence with other schemes such as MGNREG, MPLAD,MLALAD, etc. and gives overriding priority to playing fields located in village/block schools for use as community sports facility beyond school hours.

Financial and Physical Progress Rs. 92 crore had been released to States/UTs during the first year of PYKKA scheme (2008-09) for providing basic sports infrastructure facilities and also for holding competitions and Rs. 135 crore during the second year of the scheme (2009-10). In the third year of the scheme ( 2010-11), Rs. 160 crore have been released upto July, 2010 for infrastructure and competitions. 30,848 village panchayats and 967 block panchayats have been covered under the PYKKA scheme in the past three years( 2008-09, 2009-10 and upto July, 2010).

Expected Outcomes All village and block panchayats (and their equivalent units) would have earmarked/protected playing fields; Preference given to schools would help in realizing the long standing objective of integrating physical education and sports with formal education; Four Million plus youth, expected to participate in the annual rural sports competitions will provide a huge base to identify and nurture young talent; The scheme would help in spotting the talent base and expand the pool of national athletes and is expected to produce over two lakh community sports instructors over a period of ten years to promote a strong sports culture in the country.

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