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India is a nation that is evolving and creating its own presence gradually in the sporting industry. Previously, India only focused on sports like cricket and hockey but the scenario has changed significantly over the years. Now, India is taking steps for making improvements in other neglected sports like football, kabaddi, badminton, and volleyball by introducing franchise-based leagues. In terms of the Olympics, India has been performing better compared to the Olympics held in the last century.
State-wise contribution in the growth of Indian Sports
Out of 35 medals in Olympics history for India, 20 of them have been won in this century itself which shows the positive growth of India in sports. Even though India is lagging behind in comparison with many other countries, it is heading in the right direction. There are many Indian states that have been contributing and producing sportspersons for various sports. Some of the major ones include Haryana, Punjab, Kerala, Maharashtra, Manipur, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu etc.
Haryana is known for producing wrestlers, and boxers and has contributed majorly in most of the Olympics held throughout the years. In the 2012 London Olympics, 81 members participated and 18 of them belonged to the state of Haryana. Haryana just forms 2% of the total population of India but has still won 8 individual medals (more than 30% of the total individual medals) in Olympics history. One of the reasons why Haryana has excelled in sports such as wrestling and boxing is because agriculture and the military are the major occupations of people in the state and hence the people tend to have good physical strength. Haryana has produced sportspersons such as Sushil Kumar, Yogeshwar Dutt, Saina Nehwal, and Gagan Narang.
Manipur is another state that has contributed majorly in Olympics over the past few years. Manipur being one of the least populated states in India and situated in the northeast region where sports facilities are a major concern, has still managed to produce stars like Mary Kom and Mirabai Chanu, who have won medals for India in the recent Olympics.
When it comes to cricket, the most followed sport in India, states such as Maharashtra (especially Mumbai), Delhi, Karnataka, Tamil Nadu and Gujarat are known for producing some of the best cricketers throughout the years.
In football, states like Kerala, West Bengal (especially Kolkata), and Goa have contributed to a large extent, the state of Punjab is known for hockey while Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu have been focusing on athletics.
Therefore, if we were to choose a state that has contributed the most in the growth of Indian sports, it arguably has to be Haryana. Even though India is way behind in Olympics, Haryana is the state that has tried to bridge this gap over the years.