In a move to provide monetary relief to athletes who will be participating in the 2016 Rio Olympics, the sports ministry has decided to grant them a sum of Rs 1 lakh per month.
The monthly ‘out-of-pocket’ bonus allowance will be given to all athletes participating in the games, as well as those being funded by the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme and the National Sports Development Fund. TOP is a sports ministry initiative which funds Olympic medal prospects for top of the notch training programs and preparations. All funds under the scheme are provided by the government.
Cost of training has for long now, been a cause of concern for a lot of Indian athletes during the games. The funding will help athletes to focus solely on their training as it will be used to cover the cost of their every requirement, which includes training, equipment and nutrition. Total cost of this funding is believed to cost the ministry upto Rs 2.6 crore. A total of 89 athletes from 8 different disciplines will be participating in the games this year, and a lot more are likely to qualify in the next two months leading up to the games, which will commence on August 5. The decision was made after the ministry convened with the officials of sports federations and the chef-de-mission for Rio Olympics, Rakesh Gupta in Delhi, after which the Youth Affairs and the Sports Ministry announced the news on their official Twitter accounts.