One defining feature of the Narendra Modi government is that it has been extending social security covers to various sections of security. Small farmers and the unorganised workers came under social security covers in a big way. Notably, the government has also taken care of sportsperson in this though process.
Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju in a Rajya Sabha reply informed the House that the Ministry is implementing a ‘Pension to Meritorious Sportspersons’ scheme. Under the scheme, sportspersons who have won medals in Olympic Games, Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and World Cups/World Championships (in Olympic and Asian Games disciplines), and Paralympic Games are eligible for lifelong monthly pension after they attain the age of 30 years or retire from active sports, whichever is later.
He also informed that at present, 627 sportspersons are getting lifelong monthly pension ranging from ₹12,000 to 20,000.
The assistance given to sportspersons post-2014 are provided in the below table.
Concept of Social Security
Though the farmers and workers community are in a different scale, the idea of giving a social security cover to those shaping brand India, irrespective of the size is worth looking at.
The Pradhan Mantri Kisan Maan-Dhan Yojana aims to benefit small farmers with a minimum fixed pension of ₹3,000, subject to certain exclusion clauses, on attaining the age of 60 years. It is a voluntary and contributory pension scheme, with entry age of 18 to 40 years. More than 18 lakh farmers have registered themselves to avail the benefit of this scheme.
The Pradhan Mantri Shram Yogi Maan-dhan Yojana covers unorganised sector workers whose monthly income is ₹15,000/ per month or less, and belong to the entry age group of 18-40 years. Under this scheme, the subscriber needs to contribute to receive a minimum assured pension of ₹3000/- per month after attaining the age of 60 years.
Though not comparable to these pension schemes, the idea of giving pension to meritorious sportspersons has its own significance at a time when India is aspiring to be a sporting nation.