Linthoi and Manipur Olympics

    27-Aug-2022
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FREE THINKER
“I cannot explain now how I feel but I know I am very happy with this victory “ Linthoi. We are also very happy Linthoi ji for the Gold Medal you have won. Now we will be happier when your astounding achievement is given due recognition by the Government of India and the Government of Manipur.
From many sources -Linthoi Chanambam a young judoka from the beautiful land of Manipur, India has won Gold Medal in the World Cadet Judo Championship held at Arena Hotel Hills, in Sarajevo, the Capital of Bosnia Herzegovina. She defeated Bianca Reis of Brazil in the 57 Kg category (U18). She is the first Indian to win Gold in an international Judo competition. Linthoi is hardly 16 years of age and she has a long way to go to bring more laurels for the State and for the Country.  We are eagerly waiting for the State leadership to declare something worthy for this sweet achiever.
What a coincidence, here His Excellency La Ganesan ji and Hon. CM Biren ji inaugurated the Second Manipur Olympics at ‘Mapal Kangjeibung’ in the middle of Imphal City and there in Bosnia, our Linthoi won an International Gold in Judo. Our Hon. Ministers & MLAs committed to the promotion of sports were also present at the inaugural ceremony of the Manipur Olympics.
Meanwhile, the Durand Cup is also going on in the State with full speed and galore. A few days back I spoke to the Neroca MLA and enquired about the prospect of his club. He told me that Neroca has a chance to enter the quarter-finals finals and if lucky they may reach the Semis. Neroca is lucky, they have a patron who is always positive and helpful.
Manipur Olympics is rightly organized by the MOA and Manipur Government. This will provide a platform for our youngsters to show their talents. This is an opportunity to tap the sports talent in the State. All 16 Districts are taking part and nearly 6000 sports persons are participating in this 5-day sporting jamboree. Hon.CM made an announcement that there will be a budgetary allocation for Manipur Games (Olympics).  Whether MOA has got any instruction from IOC or IOA to change the name of the Game i.e., from ‘Manipur Olympics’ to ‘Manipur Games’- if not, ‘Manipur Olympics’ sounds better.
It is an earnest request to all the sports authorities, sports lovers, and sports persons in the State to remain focused.  We can do exceedingly well if we focus on where we are extremely strong. Identify the deserving talents; give rigorous training; get funds from official and non-official sources. Send them to national trials for selection; then let us see. India will be represented by Manipur. Any doubt?
Anyone who can break an Olympic or international record in front of the State Jury must be awarded instantly and keep him/her ready for the next big international sporting event. Those who can reach the Asian / Commonwealth records must be pampered and keep them warm for the next tournament. Third, those who can cross national records must be given incentives till they become national champions.
All the medal winners of great Games & Events may be given incentives to live a comfortable life when they retire.  After some time we will come across many medal winners at the International level; it won’t be practical to give government jobs to each and every one. A New State Sports Policy may be framed to tap, nurture and sustain the tenants; and after a certain level of achievements these talents must be retired respectably. They will be more than happy if they are given pensions and honored as sports teachers or coaches or guides till they are tired.
When the ‘web’ is opened to check the score lines of the ongoing Durand groups, to my surprise, the betting sites pop up. What a business proposition! We really don’t know whether such betting is allowed or legal.
But these are very tempting, and the money involved is also not much, it starts with 400.  Cricket betting is more lucrative and more widespread in this country. Now the football fever is also picking up in almost every part of the country, as usual in Bengal, Kerala, Goa, Manipur, Delhi, and Punjab; surprisingly Tamil Nadu and Maharashtra are also taking a keen interest.
Northeast led by Manipur, Mizoram, and Sikkim is catching up. But the payments are not up to the mark and that is why our boys are playing for Clubs in other states. Local rich can play a benevolent role to retain our tenants here instead of importing talents from outside. We have a tendency of paying less to our local boys; let us change this habit. Let us pamper local talents so that they don’t run away to green pastures.
Last but not the least, the Manipur Olympics is providing a golden opportunity for our boys and girls to exhibit their sporting talent in many disciplines. Once they prove themselves that they are of global standards, the State must nurture and sponsor them. For this, we need resources, Radhe Radhe.