Iconic cricketer and Rajya Sabha MP Sachin Tendulkar has advocated "systemic changes" in Indian sports so that "12 medals in next Olympics in Rio or 20 in 2020 is not a pipe dream".
Tendulkar, who has expressed a desire to promote sports in educational institutes, said sports in curriculum and history books highlighting the monumental achievements of greats like hockey legend Dhyan Chand will help stir a passion for the games hitherto less developed.
"Organisation of Asian Games in 1951 encouraged by Pandit Nehru is an integral part of Indian national story that should be read by our students. It helped shape Delhi, as did the 1982 Asiad and the 2010 CWG," he has said in his letter to HRD Minister Kapil Sibal.
Tendulkar's assertion for a change in the system comes from his belief that vision for "sports for all is still in its infancy" in this country.
"...I wish to argue that the time is ripe to build on the success of London to take giant strides in sports and achieve excellence in the not too near future. 12 medals in Rio or 20 in 2020 isn't a pipedream if we appropriate the momentum created and undertake a few fundamental changes," feels Tendulkar.
Outlining his objectives in a three-page letter, he has suggested state-of-the-art finishing schools for specific Olympic disciplines on the lines of National Cricket Academy in Bangalore where the country has shown potential.
For instance, he said, in Haryana the centre of excellence can cater to wrestling and boxing.
"We welcome Sachin Tendulkar's proposals and I have already written to him inviting him for a presentation," Sibal had said. The cricketer, who is also a Rajya Sabha MP, also rooted for a National Institute of Sports Science, saying "India desperately needs" it.