Ethiopia is a small country in the African Continent. The area of Ethiopia is somewhere around 426,371 sq.mi where as India is 1,269,346 sq.mi...precisely double the size of Ethiopia. Now coming to the population, by 2015, the population of Ethiopia is 99,465,819 and India by 2016 is 1,293,057,000 (source: Wikipedia).
Let' stop there. Making it to the team of Olympics in such highly populated nation like India is really tough, considering the competition that one needs to face. But let us focus on the economics of the two countries. The nominal GDP per capita of Ethiopia is $739 and India is $1820, which again makes India higher in the number.
Let us see the sports budget for each nation- Ethiopia has a proposed budget of $11 billion for the FY 2015-16 (read here). For India, the proposed sports budget is 1592 Crores (Rs) which is $15.92 billion (read here). So, when compared to this small nation of African continent, we are above in everything including the GDP, budget allocation for sports and you name it, we got it in our country.
But, what makes me sad is, Ethiopia sent 34 players and out of whom, 8 scored medals and their total medal points is 12.
where as India sent 118 players and scored 2 medals with a total medal points of 3. 118 players means, the perfect team to set the records straight. But 2 medals?
WHY? WHERE did we go WRONG?
I will not blame the players here. Because, the players shed their sweat and tried their level best to make it to the top. We have witnessed it in the games and we can't sit behind the computer or the television and blame them for not making it to the finals.
But who is at the fault? I say the system. At least in my perspective, I was always told that education is the way to make it to the top. Whether I played or not, nobody cared. Whether I wanted to be in the arts or not, nobody cared. Whether I received good marks in the subjects or not, everybody cared.
Parents, school and the peer pressure, everybody is responsible. We brainwash the kids that education is important but never do we tell them to achieve in the field of their pursuit or interest. We fail to realise that even sports is a form of education. Excelling in physics or mathematics or tennis or music is the same. Not just excelling...at least pursuing interest itself is more important. Not everyone can be a topper. But if the students are given proper encouragement or guidance, India can produce excellent sportspersons.
When small nations like Ethiopia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, Colombia, Jamaica and others can produce sportspersons and achievers, why not India?
We have abundant resources, freedom, democracy, liberation and every possible means to pursue what we want. When we look at the crisis of other nations, we should be thankful to be residing in a nation that gives us the freedom that we deserve. But in each Olympics, our hopes diminish.
Every time, we make this resolution to build stadiums or playgrounds and provide platforms to the kids and by the year end, everything becomes a paper trail and vanishes in the shredders.
Seldom do we see those stadiums becoming real. Let us just reflect on this and see what we can do to represent ourselves at least in the next olympics.
My many congratulations to the winners and let us produce more players and winners.