Should sports be added as a fundamental right

August 30, 2018

  • A petition filed by Kanishka Pandey, a final year law student has led SC issue a notice to recognise sports as a fundamental right under Article 21A, TOI speaks to stakeholders about the implications


Sports is as important as literacy

Mentality of most people in India is limited to three aspects of sports – entertainment, winning medals and healthy lifestyle. But, there are as many as 16 soft skills that a person can develop by engaging in sports activities including leadership skills, confidence, risk taking abilities, optimism etc. Even when Gurukul setup existed, students used to pursue sports like archery. It is crucial to have right to sports just like right to education for overall development of students.

- Kanishka Pandey, petitioner of the PIL and Law student, Delhi University

Don’t amend Constitution

Right to play already exists with right to freedom as one of the fundamental rights. The real requirement is of practical and thoughtful approach from government and society towards ‘professional sports’. Inspirations can be taken from other countries like China, Malaysia, Indonesia etc. for making government schemes more effective and result oriented. Even after being listed as a fundamental right, right to equality is not practiced in our country. It depends on people’s mindset and making sports a fundamental right will not necessarily improve the conditions in India.

- Gaurav Khanna, Head National Coach, Indian Para Badminton Team

Students will be shackled

Sports have always been an integral part of school education system. Since last two decades, state and centre boards are teaching basics of sports through optional subjects such as Physical and Health education. This might educate students to deal with exam stress and health hazards, but students will be bound to participate in sports activities irrespective of choice and not every student is a sports enthusiast.

- Muzaffar Hassan, Principal, Jamia Senior Secondary School

Evaluate nourishment level

International Charter of Physical Education, Physical Activity and Sport by UNESCO suggest that sport is a fundamental right for all. Sports is a great way of chanelising students’ energy but it demands great attention towards certain aspects like nutrition, health, environment and infrastructure. In India, children in many areas are still malnourished, how do we expect them to indulge in physical activities? The government has data and requirements of every state and their functionality, all the subsequent domains like mid-day meal scheme, sports equipment, and availability of trainers etc. will have to be evaluated.

- Saudamini Sharma, advocate, Supreme Court of India

Article Courtesy: Times of India

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