Why Olympic Medal is more a dream than a reality for India

I was so keen to write this article; especially after Shobha De’s disgraceful remark on Indian athletes; but I decided to wait as I wanted the Olympics to be over first. Frankly, it does not make sense to postmortem something which is still active. Rather, let it get over, and then analyze on what could have been better.

Today is the last day of Rio Olympics, 2016. Till now, India has won 2 medals; one silver by PV Sindhu, and One Bronze by Sakshi Malik. Last day on 21st, I hope India will win some more; but honestly it doesn’t change the fact that out of 117 total athletes sent; largest delegation so far; we manage to get only 2 medals. It’s a shame.

If you are an Indian who is trying to convince yourself that Indian athletes are competing against so many odds and winning 2 medals is enough; then you should be really ashamed to undermine India.

No, I am not trying to be Shobha De here. Could never be. She is a disgrace. Every athlete who has made it to Olympics deserves respect and much more. I just want to put emphasis on why we Indians who are 1.2 billion in number, could manage to grab only 2 medals in a world level competing event.

Some of the comments that I have seen/heard from our expert panel of Olympic specialists on Facebook, are – Indian government offer no infrastructure to its players; Indian government does not pay enough money to its players; government is doing nothing to help create good Olympic players. Players live in poverty. There is no money after their sports life. There is no career for these players. Etc.

Honestly, some of this is true. But, only some of it. Problem is we do not see the big picture. When we say India is not providing good infrastructure to its players, we compare India with UK and USA. How can we ignore the countries like, Jamaica, Kenya, Netherlands, Kazakhstan, Ukraine, North Korea, Azerbaijan (I never heard of it before, my poor GK to blame), Ethiopia, Vietnam, Kosovo, Tajikistan, Malaysia, Lithuania, etc. They all are above us in the tally of Olympic medals, and if not all, then some of these countries are not as developed as we proudly boast about India. Mera Bharat Mahan.

Just for the sake of it, let us assume, that these countries are giving their players some extra support which India does not manage to provide just yet. Isn’t it shameful too?

Let’s not compare ourselves to these countries; so let’s go with the one on top – USA.

Do you know that there is no federal support for US Olympians? There is no sports ministry in US government. There is a non-profit corporation called US Olympic Committee, which manages Olympic programs and players. They are solely depended on generosity of American people and corporations for all their funding. They receive nothing from government, unlike other countries.

If you think that American players don’t need money, or they must be super rich. Then also you are wrong. There is one Michael Phelps or Simone Biles, who are earning in billions through endorsements; but you will find many athletes who work hard whole year and didn’t make it to top team, or just didn’t win any medals. Main income of these players is through endorsements. If your game is not popular, and you are not winning medals; you will get no endorsements, so no money. Most of the players are funded by family or friends, local businesses, or through crowdfunding. Some are given stipend by USOC. But, most of them who did not receive any funding; they have to do part-time jobs.

Gwen Jorgensen, I saw her Triathlon yesterday, she was an accountant. Jared Frayer, wrestler, is a coach. Jazmine Fenlator, diver, is a dog walker. Kerron Clement, Hurdler, do modeling. Emil Milev, shooter, is a teacher. Jonathan Cheever, snowboarder, is a plumber. Taylor Fletcher, Skier, is a waiter. Most of them are not coming from rich background. They come from families like mine and yours. Families who have gone bankrupt in order to support expenses of sports equipment and travel needs of players.  These players either do part time jobs, or are totally dependent on their family support. Life is not rosy even for USA Olympic athletes.

US government do give bonus to its medal winner. It is around $25K, $15K, and $10K respectively for Gold, silver and bronze winners. They also deduct heavy tax on these medals.

However, latest that I have heard is that Indian Government is giving 75Lakhs to Gold, and 50L to Silver winners. State government’s  gifts and other endorsements are an added bonus.

If you win a medal, you will get endorsements and gifts, just like athletes from other countries get. If you don’t get a medal but still stand out in an event; like Deepa Karmakar; you may still get good endorsements. But, what attracts these players the most other than playing for their country and winning medals and cash prizes, is a government job.

Indian government do spend less money when it comes to sports; but it is providing something much more valuable than that. Indian government-run organizations like, Railways, Army and Police; they consume these athletes in government jobs. In India acquiring a government job is more or less like winning a lottery. If you are a well-doing athlete, you may never have to go to office and still get your salary each month. If you are not doing well then you may get a data entry kind of desk job, but still you will get promotions based on your performance. In fact, colleges too give admission to students under sports quota. One of my friend get admitted to a reputed college in Delhi University based on sports quota, where I didn’t even when I scored much higher. But, she deserved it. She put her hard work and sweat in it, to win that sports reservation, unlike others who just use their caste. Our system does help sports players. It may not be enough for some of us, but for few it is all they need.

Have you ever thought about, why most of the Indian athletes are coming from poor background or villages of India? One of the reason is this government job. They don’t get good education, or other support; if they can just put all their physical strength in a sport and manage to get selected in national team; they do have a chance to get a government job. For this they give their all. They work hard, day or night. They struggle every step, and some of them manage to clench medal for our nation.

My question to you is – why not many players are coming from middle class, or upper middle class, or high-class families? Why not Shobha De’s daughter/son is competing in a sport? Why is your daughter not doing gymnastic? Why your son is not doing track & field? Why your sister is not competing in wrestling? Or your brother in discus throw?

Problem is we judge success of a person by the amount he is earning; not by how many medals they have won in a sport, or by how content he/she is with what they are doing. We want to make our kids engineer, doctor, manager, business person; but not sportsman, maybe a cricketer but not any other sport. We want them to work in a multinational company sitting in a centralized office; not sweat for India in an unkempt stadium. We want medals but we don’t want to be sports players.

Why Olympic Medal is more a dream than a reality for India

Even when there is a chance of getting a government job; there is a lot of toil which goes into making a Saakshi, or Deepa, or Sindhu. We expect our kids to study 20 hours in a day; but not to wake up at 5am and run 3 miles. For parents, if you are playing sport, you are evading studies and actually ruining your career. What is a career?

Our government has not built proper stadiums for our kids. Our schools do not have good coaches. We do lack infrastructure. We don’t have swimming pools in every society, we do not even have gymnastic poles accessible, no diving place, no biking lanes, no running track. This is a major deterrent in motivating our kids to pick up a sport. Whatever government provides through sports budget; that is eaten up by the bureaucracy and corruption. Level of corruption is at its peak, just look at the recent Narsingh Yadav controversy; or at commonwealth games corruption records. We play politics in sports. Those who are sitting on top of selection committees, they play favorites. These officials don’t even know how to fill paperwork for Olympics. They are not at all professional. One of the main reason USA wins so many medals is that their government is not interfering with the sports. It is the passion of people who is motivating and funding sportsmen. If only India could keep its politics aside from games.

We the people, the ones, who can afford sending their kids to sports clubs having swimming pools, we are not mentoring our kids for Olympics; and the ones who are preparing for Olympics, they can only afford rivers and local ponds to practice swimming.

Those who are winning medals for India, if you look at their background; they are either children of former sports players; or they are picked and trained by former players. A sportsman knows the passion behind it, and they want their kids to feel the same. They want to leave their legacy through their students. They invest not only their money but everything to make their kid a world-class player. They don’t get much in return, just a satisfaction of doing something for their country. They are the true patriots, unlike us whose patriotism can be seen only on Facebook and not in a field.

We live and breathe cricket. We have the world’s best cricket players. We play cricket not only in stadiums but on roads, in schools, everywhere. We are experts in giving advice to our players, and in criticizing them. We love it. So, how many world cups we have won in cricket so far?

We can consider cricket world cup, same as Olympics is for other sports, right? So how many world cups?

We don’t even have enough passion for cricket.

We can build world-class cricket grounds; but we can’t build world-class track fields?

It’s not that we lack talent. We boast of our diversity. We have strength and we have money too. We spend billions on cricket. Just think of it, what if we can pool money within a society and build a swimming pool, or donate to our local school so they can hire a good coach, or build a sports gym. Why don’t we take our kids for running in the morning? Motivate them for biking. Teach them not only how to swim, but also different types of swimming techniques. Why not enroll our kids in gymnastic classes? why not lead by example. Why not do all of these ourselves and inspire our kids to take interest in sports?

I see passion of sports in almost every family of USA. Parents play with their kids. They teach them. Weekends are reserved for family. Time to play sports. They swim together, they play ball together, soccer, tennis, running, biking. How many Indian parents take time out to play sports with their kids? We shake off our responsibility by sending our kids to cricket coaching and that’s enough sports for us. We ourselves don’t play. Why would our children be interested in any sport then?

It is not a government who makes Olympic medal winner. It is a coach, a parent, a partner, a local investor who helps in shaping a Saakshi, Sindhu or Deepa. Be that parent, be that coach. If you can’t be that, at least become a sponsor. A change in our attitude is needed, if we want to have Gold in our hands.



Behind Every Successful Wo(man)

Behind Every Successful Wo(man)


You must have heard of the phrase “Behind every successful man there is a woman.” Now, in the era of feminism and woman empowerment, we are hearing more of ‘behind successful woman’ quotes as well. I have heard few of them too. Actually, 2-3 versions of them. Something in the line of –


Behind every successful woman is a Loving Father.


Behind every successful woman there is a Family who supported her and not the society.


Behind every successful woman there is a father who trusted her and not the society.


Wow… we seem to have so much support for successful women. So much love and support for the poor woman. Family, and father supporting daughter of the house, so that she can one day be successful. No, I am not being sarcastic. I am happy, really happy to see these quotes. I just have few thoughts.


When you read this quote, ‘Behind a successful man there is a woman’; what kind of woman do you see? I bet she would be a dutiful wife, taking care of kids, doing all household chores, cooking, taking care of everything in and around house; so that successful man won’t have to bother about it, and instead could keep his focus on being more successful.

Now, read the quote, ‘Behind a successful woman there is a loving father, or supporting family’. What kind of father/family you see – This father/family is the one who is giving an equal opportunity to the daughter as they have given to the son. There is nothing more to it.

Behind Every Successful Wo(man)

When we bring these loving father and supporting family in the equation, we are actually negating all the hard work that a successful person(man/woman) has done to reach there. I don’t want to talk about woman specifically, as I think both man and woman want love and support of their family. But, considering it is a lot difficult for women to achieve something in our patriarchal society, lets first talk about her.

Most of the women who are successful, are so, because they wanted to be successful. Some of them had a single parent, specially a strong single mother. Some of them had both the parents but got supported by none. Some of them struggled for their education and career, as their family didn’t approve of it. Out of all successful women, there were a few who got all the support. Who were lucky enough to have a loving father, and understanding mother, forward thinking brother, helpful sister, motivating friends and appreciating well-wishers. Those women are really lucky, but they are few. Rests have fought for their basic rights.  Right to have higher education, right to do a job, to do marriage at their preferred age with someone they want to, to have or not to have children, to leave kids in day care while they work; basically right to make their own decisions. Successful women were not, who had it easy. They are the ones who face difficulty and rise above it.

Even men don’t have it easy. Not every successful man had a loving wife/mother behind him. Some would have had a nagging wife and a helicopter mother; forcing them to prefer work over home life. So, why are we selling this idea of having someone behind us to be successful?

Who doesn’t want a loving father behind them? who does not need support of a family? We all do, right? Men or women, we all need a loving father, a loving mother, a supporting and trusting family; we all need them; but we don’t need them to be successful. We need them so that one day we could share our success with them.

It does not matter if you are a man or a woman, or who is behind you and who is not.

Only thing that you need to be successful is You. You are the only thing that matters.

Why are we not teaching this to our kids? They don’t need to believe in others to be successful, they just need to believe in their own strength.

Behind Every Successful Wo(man)

I would never want my daughter to believe that she will be successful one day, because she has a loving father or a trusting family. No. Never.

I would like her to believe in herself.

I would like her to believe that she will become successful, if she would want it hard enough, with all her heart and passion.

She may want us by her side; but she definitely does not need us to be successful.


Jungle Book Play by Bal Vihar Students

Jungle Book Play by Bal Vihar Students

Waltham Library is celebrating Jungle Book in this year’s theme; and what could be better than to have kids on stage enacting this popular story in a play format. Students of Bal Vihar School performed the play ‘Going By The Jungle Book’, which was based on the story of Mowgli, written by Rudyard Kipling in his most famous work, ‘The Jungle Book’.

Bal Vihar school was founded in 1996 to imbibe the values of Indian culture, and traditions in our young generation of Indian American. This school teaches not only Hindi language to its students, but also focus on their physical and spiritual well-being. Doing Yoga, reciting Shloka, celebrating each festival with tradition, and taking part in community work are some of their regular activities.

This play ‘Going By The Jungle Book’, was also an attempt to send a unique message of love and selflessness to our society. When I say ‘a unique message’, I want to emphasize on the work of this play’s writers, and also congratulate them, as they have molded this famous Mowgli Story in such a way that it forces you to think if both the villains of this story – Sher Khan (Tiger) and Baldeo (Uncle) representing the animal and human enemies of Mowgli respectively; were not based on the same ideology of Power and Greed. They both believed in power of control and domination rather than equality of law. In this tussle of domination, one thing that both of them failed to understand was, that Power of a Pack, power of a family, power of a like-minded group standing together for one cause, is far greater than any Sher Khan or Baldeo combined.

Jungle Book Play by Bal Vihar Students

Play starts with Raksha the mother wolf, finding a man cub(kid) alone in the forest. Seeing that he could die of hunger, she decides to adopt him and named him Mowgli. Mowgli is raised in jungle as a wolf cub by Raksha, with the help of Baloo and Bagheera and whole wolf pack. On the other hand, Sher Khan see this wolf kid, Mowgli, as a threat to his power, and tries to kill him every chance he gets. Mowgli runs away to a nearby village, where he meets Messua, a kind lady who has lost her son few years back. She takes Mowgli under her care and declare him as his long lost son Natthu; which was not taken well by Baldeo. He sees Mowgli as a threat to his sole inheritance on Messua’s property. His greed for money, takes him to setting a trap for Sher khan too. Mowgli, the innocent boy, who thought that whole jungle was his family, tries to save Sher Khan from the deadly trap, but to no avail. In the end, Sher Khan dies from Baldeo’s gunshot; but Messua do manage to save his son Mowgli from Baldeo’s ill intentions.

Jungle Book Play by Bal Vihar Students

Kids performing in this play send out a strong message that whole jungle is our family. We should preserve our jungles and our animals. We should also draw a fine line on where we need to stop our financial gain so as not to hurt our ecosystem. There is power in strength of numbers. We should stand together, just like a pack. This is the power of a pack.

Play was entertaining and everyone played their part perfectly; from baloo’s scratches, to bagheera’s irritation over baloo’s lazy attitude; from sher khan’s growling to Mowgli’s innocence; from Baldeo’s cunningness to Messua’s motherly love; from Raksha’s shield to wolf cubs Aaaooooo; it was just Perfect. Kids did a tremendous job, but It was also the effort of parents, teachers and mentors here, who deserve all the credit for this cultural and moral education to kids through a lively and entertaining play.

At the end, I just wanted to say that it was riveting to see these young boys and girls spread out the message of ‘Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam’. Our world will be much safer in the hands of these kids.

See below pics taken from the play.

As originally Posted by Jyoti Singh on MyTrendingStories

Ours is a doomed Civilization

Ours is a doomed Civilization

I am usually an optimistic person, but sometimes ways of this world make me wonder, if we are not doomed or what? We as in, we people of this world, the so called advanced species of this planet earth.

I was watching a documentary on Planet Earth, and then read and researched about some of our ancient civilizations. Specially on how they all ended. One thing is observed so far, that every civilization has an end date. None of our ancient civilizations have survived, no matter how powerful, advanced, or immortal they looked. Be it Mayans, Mesopotamian, Indus Valley, Egypt, Roman, or Incas.

All our ancient civilizations have either died completely, like Mayans, or they have changed drastically to survive, like ancient Chinese civilization. Few are left in bits and pieces; more like a mix of old with something new and different; like Indus Valley.

Why I am suddenly giving history lessons? I don’t even like history. Well, at least didn’t preferred it in school time.

So, why now?

Most of these civilizations have died of natural causes, like drought, wrong farming techniques, and not foreseeing the future natural calamities, etc. What you cannot see, you cannot control. If you cannot predict that your land is going to be affected by drought or not, you cannot take preventive measures to safeguard yourself; and thus you are in risk of falling  prey to this uncertainty of natural disasters.

Ours is a doomed Civilization

Now, if you will come to think of our current civilization; which is actually a global one. We are not limited to one culture, or one land, as such. We are global. Regardless of our ancestors; we do not belong to one city, or one country too; we belong to this whole world; this whole Earth. If a land is affected by a natural calamity, we have a better chance of surviving it.

We are so advance now that we can predict almost any natural calamity; and can prevent it to some extent too. We are so advanced that we can stop a meteorite on its way, before it touches our atmosphere. We are kind of invincible. We are immortal civilization.

But, are we?

Here lies the irony.

Our ancient civilizations had no foresight; they didn’t even know what was about to hit them. We have that foresight. We have that power. We have that control. We can see. We can predict. But, are we truly seeing what is just in front of us?

We are a doomed civilization. It’s not because some natural disaster will end this world someday. It’s because, we will be the reason of our own end.

We are the ones who will end our civilization by ourselves. We are killing this world. Not slowly, but such a faster rate that, soon we will reach to a point of no return. We are killing our home.

We are killing Earth. Our only Home. 

Our economic development has taken us to such heights that we cannot see how farther down we have pushed our mother Earth to a disastrous end. We are the reason behind Global warming. Increased CO2. Depleting Ozone layer. Increasing water levels of oceans. Melting Ice Caps. Warming weather. Cutting of Trees. Increase of Pollution. This is all our work. We are doing this.

We are responsible for our own doomed death.

Few of the so-called smart and advanced ones among us are depleting the resources of Mother Earth; and few of the Idiots and morons from among us, are killing each other in the name of religion and skin differences.

Rest of us, who are thankfully not so smart and not so dumb, are watching it all happen before our eyes, but not doing enough to stop it.

Ours is a doomed Civilization

We are certainly doomed.



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