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NEWS
Sahara to redirect BCCI sponsorship funds to social initiatives
Tue 07 February 2012
Since the time sponsorship of the Indian cricket team had been made available to MNCs and Indian corporations in 2001, Sahara India Pariwar has been associated with the sport. After an 11-year association, Sahara is now parting ways with the BCCI due to various disagreements. However, as it will take the BCCI between two and four months to find a new sponsor, Sahara will continue to pay the sponsorship money for that time.


Once the sponsorship has been dissolved, the sponsorship funds of Rs. 1,000 crores will be reinvested in various other social initiatives. Over a period of one or two years, Rs. 500 crores will be put into the Sahara Welfare Foundation, which will be run in association with eminent persons in the country. Under the welfare foundation, twenty rural/semi-urban sports promotional centres, including rural/semi urban cricket promotional centres shall be set up. Each centre, having seven to 10 acres of land, will be developed into sports person promotional centres with hostels having 50-100 rooms, and diversified disciplines covering cricket, hockey, soccer, Formula 1, tennis, golf, wrestling, boxing, etc. There will be at least one centre in every state, barring a very few highly disturbed states.


Youngsters for these centres will be selected across the country, even in the remotest villages. They will be hosted for a minimum of five years, with the Sahara Welfare Foundation bearing all costs, including their education. Domestic and international teachers shall be appointed to visit these centres throughout the year for special training to local teachers and students. One international standard sports academy shall be developed immediately, wherein all the best students will eventually be gathered. Students with achievements at the state, national and international levels will be awarded. They will stand to receive permanent jobs, houses, old age facilities, etc. Deserving student will also be given regular opportunities to go abroad for further development. Those who secure a position at the national level will be appointed in the company.


In addition to the promotional centres, a support fund will be set up wherein a minimum of Rs. 10 crores will be distributed every year for current and retired players. Rs. 3 crores will be allocated to cricketers and Rs. 7 crores for other disciplines. Besides this, in discussion with other federations, where Sahara is a sponsor for different sports disciplines, the sponsorship amount shall be increased according to a genuine need for better promotion.


On the medical front, 300 fully equipped medical vans will be introduced to service remote villages across India. These vans shall have doctors, check-up facilities, free medicines and supporting cases for going to hospitals.


The foundation will also introduce 100 tankers across rural and semi-urban areas to distribute safe drinking water free or for a maximum 50 paise to Re. 1 per litre. Finally, it will provide 10,000 TV screens in villages and semi-urban areas with dish antenna, etc. to provide free education and support for various types of adult literacy, child care, child education and hygiene programs; to support cultivation/agriculture and Hindi/English education; and to educate the people on higher morals, leading a good life, and provide information of mandis on a regular basis. A large studio will be made for this purpose at the centres.



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