Sikkim cash incentives to 132 for sports
The Sikkim sports and youth affairs department on Wednesday provided cash incentives to scores of sportspersons in an effort to promote sporting activity in the Himalayan state even as the sports wing of the ruling Sikkim Krantikari Morcha proposed a hike in sports quota in government jobs.
In all, 132 sportspersons from different fields were given cash rewards ranging from Rs 5,000 to Rs 2 lakh, depending on their sporting achievements at the zonal, national and international levels.
Sikkim sports and youth affairs minister Kunga Nima Lepcha handed over the cash incentives, amounting to a little over Rs 30 lakh in total, to the sportspersons at a simple programme at Chintan Bhavan in Gangtok.
Later talking to reporters, Lepcha said this was the first of what would be an annual exercise.
“This will be continued. We have seen other states also provide such incentives. We will have to earmark separate funds in the budget for this. Not just the players, we are also providing incentives to the clubs,” he said.
The minister said the idea behind introducing the incentive scheme was to encourage sporting activity and produce more and more sportspersons in the state.
“The incentive itself is very small, but the main thing for us to do is to encourage and inspire these children… the other thing is that these children will get job opportunities in the future if they continue to do well,” he added.
The P. S. Tamang (Golay)-headed SKM government had in August increased the sports quota in government jobs from the earlier two per cent to five per cent. However, the party’s sports wing has proposed a further hike in quota.
Karma Loday Bhutia, the in-charge of SKM’s sports wing and forest and environment minister, said a proposal had been mooted to provide five per cent quota for state-level players, 10 per cent for national level and 15 per cent for international players. “Those who win medals (at the international level) must get direct appointment according to their qualifications,” he added.
Bhutia said the proposal had been discussed by the sports wing, and it would be put up before the government soon.
Eighty-five per cent of the government jobs in Sikkim have been vertically reserved for various communities. There is also a provision for horizontal reservation of jobs for women, people with disability, ex-servicemen and sportspersons.