SAI sanctions Rs 5.785 crores as allowance for Khelo India athletes

The sum, allocated for the months of October and November, will benefit 2,783 Khelo India athletes.

By Utathya Nag

The Sports Authority of India (SAI), on Thursday, released Rs 5.785 crores to facilitate the development of Khelo India athletes across the country for the months of October and November.

The funds allocated under the Khelo India Talent Development (KITD) scheme, is set to benefit 2,783 Khelo India athletes, practising 24 sporting disciplines, from 35 states and Union Territories of India.

Under the initiative, an Out of Pocket Allowance (OPA) sum of Rs 1.20 lakhs annually has been directly transferred to each athlete’s bank account. The remaining sum will be spent on their training, food, lodging and education at the Khelo India Academy.

Expenses towards travel to hometown, dietary charges while stationed at home and other miscellaneous expenses incurred by the athletes will be also covered from the allocated amount.

Additionally, a sum of Rs 45.40 lakhs for the month of October and November has handed out to 227 rural athletes for the promotion of indigenous sports as a part of the Khelo India Scholarship.

The Khelo India programme, run by the Government of India, was introduced in 2018 to revive the sporting culture in the country at the grassroots level.

The overarching aim of the initiative is to build a strong framework for all sports played in the country and establish India as a successful sporting nation. The programme also aspires to use sports as a tool for national, economic, community and individual development.