With shooters bringing laurels at major international meets, the National Rifle Association of India (NRAI) has emerged as the biggest beneficiary of government grants in the last three years. (Also read: Sports ministry set to implement welfare schemes for sportspersons)
Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, in a reply to a query in the Lok Sabha, presented a detailed report of the funds allocated to the National Sports Federations (NSFs) in the last three years. (Syringes found in Indian athletes' CWG 2014 rooms, no evidence of doping: Report)
In 2013-14, the NRAI topped the list with a grant of Rs 1,960.68 crore. NRAI was followed by the Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) with Rs 1429.12 crore, while Hockey India (HI) was third on the list with a grant of Rs.1268.19 crore. (India happy with top-five finish at CWG 2014)
The shooters are bringing laurels at all major sports events. In the 2012 London Olympics, pistol shooter Vijay Kumar won the gold medal and rifleman Gagan Narang bagged the silver. Indian shooters also won 17 medals, including three gold medals, in last month's Commonwealth Games.
In the last three years, NRAI got a total of Rs.3,962.15 crore in government grants -- the maximum by any NSF. Hockey India (HI) was second with a total grant of Rs.3,642.39 crore.
The WFI also got a total grant of Rs.3,104.16 in the last three years and it was reflected in the performance of the wrestlers in international events.
Sushil Kumar and Yogehwar Dutt won silver and bonze medals, respectively, in the 2012 London Games. Sushil, who also has a bronze in the 2008 Beijing Games, is the only Indian athlete to win two individual Olympic medal. The wrestlers also put up a great show in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games winning 13 medals including five golds.