Make Sports a compulsory subject in schools


Petitioning Union HRD Minister

A Tata Tea Campaign in association with Network 18

Our country harbours some of the world’s most powerful business leaders, innovators, engineers, doctors, professors and scientists. This has been possible by the importance an average Indian household attaches to education. Sports, however, is not considered ‘education’ in India. It is relegated as a play-time or extra-curricular activity that children take up when they are free from academics.

Kids are naturally drawn to sports. It helps them express their emotions, gain confidence, build self-esteem and competitiveness, and learn team spirit. However, we, as a society don’t let sports last beyond childhood. A familiar adage goes: “Padhoge, likhoge, banoge nawab; kheloge, kudoge, hoge kharab,” (If you study hard, you will live like a king; but if you play sports, you will ruin your life.) This mindset needs to change.

Our education system must recognize the importance of engaging children in sports. Since children spend most of their day in schools, a pro-active approach towards promoting sports in schools can kindle their interest and inspire them to go further. Sports has to be given the status of a ‘subject’ taught in schools and be given the same weightage as other compulsory subjects.

To make our schools sport-education ready, we need to close out two important touch points:

1. If we want our youth to walk shoulder to shoulder with international sportsmen and women, we must train them in a world-class learning environment. Schools must be equipped with necessary sports infrastructure - be it a sports ground, a gymnasium, or sports equipment and this has to be ensured by the government.

2. We need to identify, train and equip sports coaches and teachers ​that can cater to our ever growing student population.

The Sports Ministry has proposed to the Human Resource Development Ministry (HRD) to make sports a compulsory subject in schools. However, the department of school education, which comes under the HRD ministry, has informed the sports ministry the majority of the schools were under the jurisdiction of the state governments and that it was for the state governments to take a policy decision.

If adopted, this policy change will impact 36 states and union territories, which have 14.5 lakh-odd schools with nearly 197 million students. ​This needs the involvement of several ministries, state level education boards and sporting experts to make a change at this scale happen; and this change will not be put into action unless we ask for it in one united voice​. We need to be pre-activists and recognize the urgency of giving sports its rightful place in the Indian education system.

Our Petition is to the HRD Ministry​, ​to work with the sports ministry and implement sports as a compulsory subject in schools, and to advice state governments to implement this across all educational instit​utions.

Sign this petition to change this now!

Download the whole petition
  • Pramod
  • 22 Jun 2017

i support this.


How Football Changed the Lives of 600 young girls:...

A class that plays together, learns together. It is a tried and tested technique recommended by Franz Gastler. His NGO, Yuwa, is based in Jharkhand and is a platform that uses sports as a crucial catalyst to put the future of girls in their own hands through education. He talks about how sp


How Schools can change the future of Sports in Ind...

Where do children play? Everyone seems to agree that children should play, and that more children should play as often as possible. However, the problem is not “Why should children play?” The real problem is “Where?” With increasing urbanization, open spaces


What We can Learn from NorthEast India about Sport...

The North-Eastern states in India are home to some of India’s most recognised international players. Just to name a few, M.C. Mary Kom - 2012 Olympics bronze medallist and a five-time world amateur-boxing champion, footballer Baichung Bhutia, boxer L. Sarita Devi, silver medallist at