Lok Sabha

July 17, 2019

Prasun Banerjee speaks on the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports

Prasun Banerjee speaks on the Demands for Grants for the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports


Thanks for giving a chance to me. I am a national footballer. I am an Arjuna awardee. I am an Asian Football Championship participant. I am the first footballer to come as an MP to this House. I thank all my colleagues here. One thing I should tell you, this is the first time I am participating in a debate about sports in front of you. I do not know about before, the last 20-30 years. But for the first time, our government has started Youth and Sports. This is a very good thinking. I am very much happy.

Itna accha lag raha hai, itna khushi hai, hona chahiye.Sports accha hoga toh hamara country uccha chalengey. Drug addict nahi hoga. Kuch taklif nahi hoga, sports hona chahiye.

So, I want to say Sir, small things. I am the first footballer to come as an MP, after 70 years. I am thankful to AITC and most of the people. I have a small demand, Sir. I must say that there is a low-fund sports policy of the central government.

There are a number of autonomous bodies under Youth Affairs and Sports and lack of coordination between them. I found in the Budget provision of the loss of money is being expended in numbers of programme and theme every year.  But what is the latest outcome? I got a publication from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports with the statistics of achievements of Khelo India School Games 2018. But is this game actually spread throughout the country properly? I mean will the actual motto to start this type of games trickle down to the grassroots level?

Sir, even I have become the first sportsperson to be elected as a Member of Parliament for the third consecutive time, I’m sorry to say I do not have a firm idea about ‘Khel India’ which was launched in 2017.

 Sir, I feel a huge amount of money is required for the actual development of Youth Affairs and Sports. We have a number of schemes and projects for development but what I feel our main drawback is the lack of coordination between them. In her budget speech the Hon’ble Finance Minister announced the decision to set up the National Sports Education Board for development of sportspersons under ‘Khelo India’ scheme. Very Good. But how this National Sports Education Board will work and what will be their key motto? How this board will function? Who will govern this? Is this will be another organisation governed by bureaucracy or an actual sportsperson? With a vast experience of green fields, it is my humble suggestion to you Sir, please allow the person from sports arena to become the policy maker. Sir, unless the participation of people from the sports fraternity as policy maker, sports will not achieve any good. Infrastructure, stadium, hostel can be built by bureaucrats but only a sports person can make a sportsperson best.

Sir, I must say that there is no sound sports policy. Another thing I can say, jo hamare bacche log hain, catch them young. In logo ko gaon se lene ke liye kisko bhej rahe hein? Many ex-sports people are sitting here. They are rueing like anything. Sir, hum logo ko koi taqat nahi, hum kuch de na sake. Please Sir, you bring them, no need to have any politician, no need to have bureaucrats, only sportsmen. They still have the voice. Bacche log ko bulayenge yeh log, call karenge aur usko national property banayenge. National property. Aap log kharcha kartein hain zyada, property karna chahiye sportsman ko. They should be national property.

Sir. Another thing is there. I am from football, Sir. Do something about football. The football officers are useless. They did nothing. Immediately Sir, you take support and  tell them immediately, Sir. You call all the senior plays, senior footballers, Olympians; they should do something too. Abhi jo hua hai, koi political aadmi baith jaata hai, koi bahar ka aadmi baith jata hai jo khel ya football ke baare mein kuch nahi janta hai, football ko barbaad kar diya hai. Because I know. For 33 years I have been playing football, I know what is going on. 

Hamare bachhe log abhi World Cup khelenge, aap thoda support karein. You just bring it from Gujarat, bring from Bihar, from UP; why Bengal, Kerala and Goa all the time? Sabke bachhe log ko jana chahiye. Layyiye. Football mein kya ho raha hai? Hamara sabse bara team, Mohun Bagan is the national cup winner of India and East Bengal and Mohammedan. Mohun Bagan , sometimes they beat English persons. In 1911 they beat the British football team. Hamare time mein woh jeete the. Abhi teen Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Mohammedan, teams ko woh band karna chahte hain. Yeh log kharab karna chahte hain. Ek ek team ka 1 crore ka supporter hai, 1 crore all over the world. 

This football is a game jo hum logon ne khela hai. Hum bolna chahte hain, yeh jo aapne bataya hai, aapka jo autonomous body mein haath nahin denge; zaroor haath dena chahiye aap logon ko. They have finished our football. Please for God’s sake, I request through you Sir, do something. Aap log boltein hain ‘Prasun da hum nahin kartein hai kyunki autonomous body hai’. 

Aur ek bat hai, there Rijiju bhai is there, another sportsman is there. Hum log dekh rahein hai chota se kareb 30-40 years or 47 years hum dekh rahein hai, yeh bacha log roti aur sabji khake World Cup nahi jeet sakte hain. Khana dijiye; kuch kariye aap log. Koshish kar raha hai, aur kariye. Khana dijiye; unko national property banaiye. 

Sportsman log ko kuch milta nahi hain. Jab jeet ke aate hain, tab crore rupiya dete hain aap log. Aur jo pehle tha, jo khana nahi milta hain ghar mein, na kuch practice nahi karte, infrastructure nahi milte, uske upar zor dijeye. 

Football ko bachaye. Yeh bacha log kitna acha Under-17 khele. I thank everybody, I thank the government as well as I thank my Chief Minister, who organised the final match of U-17 FIFA World Cup in Kolkata.

My request Sir, to the Minister, is that please you call me. Hum 8 years MP hain. Thoda bahut bol sakte hain. Aap log bulate nahi. Is mein koi Trinamool aur BJP mat rakhiye. I always have time, I will come to you always. Last but not the least, let me tell you about one of our greatest footballers; while giving his autograph, he wrote for me ‘Play football, see the world, be a gentleman and fly your national flag all over the world.’

Thank you, Sir. Namaste.