At 38, Akhilesh Yadav is the youngest-ever chief minister of Uttar Pradesh, the third largest Indian state by economy.
During his childhood days, politics was far from his mind – he played football, cricket, cycling and hockey, hung out with friends and listened to music – something that he still does to unwind.
The young Akhilesh Yadav was making all efforts to improve sports infrastructure and facilities in the state and his government started Laxman and Rani Laxmi Bai awards for excellence in the field of sports.
His government is making serious efforts to promote sports under which new stadiums and swimming pools are being constructed.
Uttar Pradesh chief minister Akhilesh Yadav has introduced a paradigm shift of sorts by deciding to promote cricket amongst youngsters from villages.
On the lines of the famously successful Indian Premier League (IPL), Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav has started the IGCL – Indian Grameen Cricket League – in which teams from different districts of Uttar Pradesh are competing at a tournament. Uttar Pradesh’s 32 of the 75 districts already have their cricket teams, while the rest would do this within the coming months.
Akhilesh Yadav also helped the state in promoting cycling by involving youth and working class in a big way. His government organised a 60-kilometre mega cycling event for the first time in Lucknow supported by Uttar Pradesh Tourism Department. His efforts like construction of cycle tracks and proposed velodrome in Lucknow is appreciated by the Cycling Federation of India (CFI).
Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav also introduced a sports policy to pave way for construction of stadiums at every Nyay Panchayat. This will help in promoting talents in rural sports. When you have infrastructure, people will come out and play. It will help in honing their skills and also provide an opportunity to talented players.
Stadiums will have basic facilities for most of the rural sports such as wrestling, kho-kho, kabaddi, malkhamb and athletics. Facilities for indoor games will also be made available at these stadiums. The sports kits and other facilities will be provided by the department.
Sports are also means to attract players of national and international fame, promote tourism and give boost to the economic activities at one hand and develop the local potential on the other.
Recently, Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Croatian government in the presence of Ambassador of Croatia to India, Amir Muharemi. Croatia will offer help in developing sports facilities in the state.