Lucknow girl in quest for national game sees hope in PMO

Lucknow : Will India soon have a national game? The answer might be yes. Based on a request from Aishwarya Parashar, a class IX student from here, the prime minister’s office (PMO) has forwarded her letter to the ministry of youth affairs and sports for consideration and appropriate action.

Aishwarya’s RTI had revealed last year that India has no official game. The 13-year-old had then written to then prime minister Manmohan Singh to get a sport declared as a nation game but her plea was not entertained by the PMO.

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The girl, however, pursued the matter after Narendra Modi became the prime minister and wrote to the office of the prime minister again, detailing the issue and seeking a solution.

Aishwarya told IANS that she was “enthused” by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s “nationalistic approach to various other issues” and added that she “saw a ray of hope in the new prime minister”.

The matter has since been referred to the mission directorate PYKKA (Panchayat Yuva Krida Aur Khel Abhiyan) of the ministry of youth affairs and sports, which in turn has sent it to the SP-4 division of the ministry, it being a policy decision.

“I am not sure whether we Indians will finally get to see a sport declared a national game or not but I am excited that the PMO has taken cognisance of my request and follow up action is being done,” she said.

For a long time hockey or kabaddi was assumed to be the national sport but responding to an RTI query by the Lucknow girl, the union sports ministry had clarified that it had declared no sport as the national game.

Aishwarya has been the vanguard of many RTI queries in the past as well, the most popular being whether or not Mahatma Gandhi was declared the “Father of the Nation”. The query made it to national and international media, with the union government turning red-faced as it had no records on the same. Aishwarya has since been hailed as the “RTI Girl” of Lucknow.