The Sports Authority of India (SAI) has announced that it will be extending medical and accident insurance cover to more than 13,000 athletes, coaches, and support staff from this year.
This is in keeping with the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports’ decision to ensure the safety and well-being of all athletes and support staff in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic in India. “We want to ensure that all our athletes and contractual staff have health cover during these difficult times and even after,” Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju said in an official release. “They are our national assets.”
The insurance cover of Rs 5 lakh each will be provided to all national campers, probable national campers, Khelo India athletes and junior campers training at SAI Centre of Excellence.
While the health insurance would be for R 5 lakh each, it also includes a Rs 25 lakh cover for accident or death.
“Through this initiative, we are ensuring that all National-level athletes have insurance cover not just during the national camps but throughout the year. We have significantly raised the insurance cover for Khelo India scholar and junior athletes up to Rs 5 lakh per athlete each year,” said Rijiju.
This will come into effect irrespective of the dates of a national camp even if such camps have not been in operation in some disciplines so far this year. This will ensure continuity in the insurance and will provide much needed support to national-level athletes, coaches and support staff associated with national camps.
SAI has also requested National Sporting Federations to identify the athletes and support staff for inclusion in the insurance scheme. The data of those covered under this insurance scheme will be stored in the National Sports Repository System to create a transparent, easy to access process which can be monitored regularly.
Through the Annual Calendar for Training and Competition for each National Sports Federation, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports funds National Camps, competitive exposure overseas, conduct of National Championships and the junior programmes. Besides, the cream of athletes are also supported under the Target Olympic Podium Scheme.
Besides, the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports supports 596 former internationals with a monthly pension