Sports Editor, Takmaa News, Kolkata, 5th Jan 2024 : Indian golf legend Arjun Atwal has welcomed Hon. Prime Minister Shri. Narendra Modi’s vision for Pravasi Sports. Atwal, who is the only Indian to win on the coveted PGA Tour, shared his thoughts with the Holistic International Pravasi Sports Association (HIPSA), the first organization to be exclusively set up with an aim to promote and ‘Integrate’ PravasiBhartiya youth with their motherland through the medium of Sports.
The Hon. Prime Minister back in 2019 in a meeting with the sports fraternity, had envisioned and had desired to find a way to conduct Sports competitions for talented Pravasi Bharatiya youth in India.
Earlier in 2017, addressing the 14th edition of the PravasiBharatiya Divas in Bengaluru, Shri. Modi had said, “I welcome all young Pravasis. You must stay connected with India and return over and over again. This is your home.”
Speaking from his home in the USA, Atwal further said, “I have always appreciated PM Modi and this vision of Pravasi Sports has a special significance for me and my family. I’m still playing golf and have another five years to go and I would be delighted to play in India. Both my sons are basketball players and we as a family would be elated if they can come and play in India and connect back to their roots. Going forward, a Pravasi vs Nivasi competition would be even more exciting to have.”
HIPSA is planning several tournaments involving overseas Indian youth and recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Haryana Government for the development and promotion of Kabaddi, in particular focussing on overseas Indian women Kabaddi players. The ultimate aim being to push for the inclusion of Kabaddi in the Summer Olympics.
Pravasi Sports Leagues in Women’s Kabaddi & Cricket are also in the plans for 2024 and the captain of the 2012 U-19 ICC World Cup winning Indian cricket team Unmukt Chand, is among its first backers. The cricketer who now plies his trade in the USA, said, “The Prime Minister’s vision for sports competitions for PravasiBharatiyas is very inspiring and gives us all a chance to stay connected to our roots. The concept of a Pravasi Sports League is very promising, especially as it promotes fitness, enthusiasm and the spirit of reconnecting to your motherland.”
Recently, Mr. Kalyan Chaubey, President of the All India Football Federation (AIFF) had revealed that they were looking to approach 24 Persons of Indian Origin (PIOs) to explore the possibility of them being selected for National Duty. However, a recent statement by Dr. Jaishankar, External Affairs Minister (EAM), Government of India (GoI), stating, “There are economic and security challenges as to Indians living in which countries should be provided with dual citizenship,” put paid to such hopes.
HIPSA, through its objectives, will look to bridge that gap and try and give talented overseas youth a first feel of playing regularly in India.