Ranchi: The Jharkhand government, is going to organise a huge sporting event 'Khelo Jharkhand' for at least 50 lakh students to identify budding talent, an officer stated.
The best-performing students from the primary to the higher secondary level will then be provided the opportunity to hone their skills.
The event, named 'Khelo Jharkhand', will kick off on November 5 and will continue till December 15.
The eastern state has produced many well-known international players, including former team India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, ace archer Deepika Kumari, and hockey stars such as Jaipal Singh Munda, Vimal Lakra, Nikki Pradhan, and Salima Tete.
Jharkhand Education Project Council (JEPC) has been assigned the responsibility to hold the mega event for over 35,000 primary, middle, secondary, higher secondary, residential, and other category schools such as Kasturba Gandhi Balika Vidyalaya (KGBV) and model institutes.
"The sports event intends to serve various purposes such as identifying budding talent and sharpening their skill, and promoting sports activity in schools. Sports help in inculcating discipline, developing leadership quality, team spirit, decision-making capacity, and competitiveness among students," JEPC director Kiran Kumari Pasi said.
Noting that practices such as child marriage, child labour, and trafficking of children affect the schooling of many children in Jharkhand, Pasi said, "The sports event could prove to be an important tool to overcome these problems and help the overall development of children." The event comprising athletics, football, hockey, kabaddi, volleyball, wrestling, and archery will be organised in three categories.
In the first category, a school-level competition will be organised for pupils in classes 1 to 5.
There will be competition among middle school students -- classes 6 to 8, in the second category. It will be organised at the school, block, and district levels.
The third stage will witness competition among secondary and higher secondary students, which will be organised at the school, block, and district levels. Finally, a state-level competition will be organised.
As many as 19,446 primary schools, 13,660 middle schools, 1,826 secondary and 510 higher secondary schools will participate in the event.
A total of 50,05,638 students from primary to higher secondary schools are expected to participate in the sporting event, said Dhirsen A Soreng, JEPC state programme officer and in-charge of physical education and sports.
"The best talents will be identified from the event. We will collaborate with sports stakeholders for career opportunities for students in different possible departments. Jharkhand has 123 day boarding centres, 34 residential sports training facilities and one centre of the Sports Authority of India," he said.
The Jharkhand government is also making efforts to improve the sports infrastructure besides working for capacity building of the players.
A turf hockey ground in Jharkhand's Khunti district has recently been awarded a field certificate from the International Hockey Federation (FIH).
"The players of the state will now be able to hone their talent while getting to practice at an international standards ground," an official statement said.
Priority is being given to the construction of international-level turf hockey grounds in various districts, the official said.