Kabaddi has often been mistaken as the national sport of our country. It is to the knowledge of few souls that the game is, in fact, the national sport of Bangladesh. Imagine, if this is how much we know about the game, what must be the state of kabaddi players in our country?
Most of these players come from humble backgrounds. They are dedicated and passionate about the game and work day and night to grab an opportunity to excel. Some of the players, however, don’t get adequate facilities to shine.
The Pro Kabaddi League finally gave these players a much-needed platform. The League was launched in 2014 based on the format of popular cricket tournament, Indian Premier League. The first edition of the tournament was held on July 26, 2014, with eight franchises based in eight different Indian cities, comprising players from around the world. It has given many Indian players an opportunity to focus on the game professionally and also get paid for it.
These players have made it clear that they would prefer playing professionally to playing under the Indian flag. There is nothing wrong in it because they want to hold on to a minimum amount of Rs 6,000,000 which is just a base price and the maximum amount can go up to Rs 1 crore.
On the other hand, if these players play for the nation, they would have to wait long for tournaments to happen. And they would not get perks/jobs from the government either. This subsequently, renders them jobless and financially unstable. The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has shown step-motherly behaviour towards the game and its players.
All other federations have regular tours and matches at domestic and International levels and have access to government jobs. Not only this, some players even avail the facilities of houses sponsored by SAI.
Some Kabaddi players are still on the lookout for cemented roofs for their houses.
Have we chosen to be hostile towards this game or are we just neglecting it, having lost all our hopes? Kabaddi players do have the calibre to make our country proud. We must humbly request the federations to pull up their socks and focus on the betterment of this game and its players.