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Corporate push a must in developing sports
Sports reporter
 GUWAHATI, March 3 – The corporate sector has to play a major role in the development of sports of the country, believes some top government official and officials of corporate houses.

Taking part in a national level seminar on the topic ‘Role of Corporate Houses in Developing Sports’, Principal Secretary, Sports, Govt of Assam VS Bhaskar said, “Government alone can’t do anything.” Elaborating on the scenario of Assam sports, Bhaskar said, “The State is lacking adequate budget which can meet all the required facilities of sportspersons. Corporate houses have to create a separate fund for the development of sports.”

NK Bharali, Director HR & Business Development of Oil India Limited (OIL) said, “My organisation has been patronising sports since a long time. OIL Is not only recruiting sportspersons of various disciplines but also organising sporting events in Tinsukia and Dibrugarh districts regularly to give a platform to young talents. OIL is also offering a helping hand to various sports organisations in hosting events.”

The secretary of Shillong Lajong Football Club, Larsing Ming while taking part in the seminar said, “In India, corporate houses are playing a vital role in developing sports.”

But, Ming believes, in the north-eastern region the role of corporate houses is not that much satisfactory. He, however, thanked organisations like Aircel and Kingfisher for financing his team Lajong which is now a leading football team of the country. He hoped other corporate houses will also come up to help sports organisation on this region.

Managing Director of Numaligarh Refinery Limited (NRL) Dipak Chakravorty said, “NRL always has a soft corner for sports. They are taking initiative in setting up a football academy at Numaligarh. NRL is also providing financial assistance to local organisations for hosting sporting events.

Noted sports journalists G Vishwanath, who is also the president of Sports Journalists Federation of India, opined that with more support from corporate houses, the north-eastern region will be able to produce more sportspersons like Mary Kom, L Devendro Singh, Shiva Thapa and Jayanta Talukdar.

Veteran journalists of the State Premadhar Sharma recalled the history of Assam and the entire North-east which have a vital role in Indian sports. Remembering RG Baruah for constructing the Nehru Stadium and the Kanaklata Indoor Stadium, Sharma said that only because of RG’s courage, Assam has been able to get some sports infrastructure.

The seminar was sponsored by organisations like North Eastern Council, NRL, ONGCL, NIPPCO, Shillong Lajong FC, etc.

Eminent journalist Samudra Gupta of Indian Express moderated the seminar.

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