Tata Trusts have a cherished history of making contributions to the development of sport in India. Sir Dorabji Tata was a pioneering spirit, a man deeply appreciative of the power of sport in transforming lives. He was the first President of the Indian Olympic Committee, established in 1927 and an active leader in shaping the Indian Olympic movement. He made personal contributions to fund the participation of India in the Antwerp (1920) and Paris (1924) Olympics.
The Trusts continue to build on its rich heritage, with sports as a means and accelerator for meaningful engagement with young children from marginalised sections of the society. Sports can serve as a catalyst for development, raising aspirations, improving health and strengthening the education and development of children.
The cultural ethos of India suffered significant damage during the centuries of foreign rule, as its people were relegated into situations of disadvantage by imperialist forces. In the aftermath of Independence, vast sections of society, especially in urban areas, took to education as a means to extricate themselves from the various constraints that undermined their existence.
As a result, India suffered from severe imbalances in physical and intellectual development, with the former neglected for the sake of academic progress. Over the past few decades, families have actively discouraged children from the pursuit of sport. However, the growth of cricket and the success of the country’s Olympic heroes have turned the focus back to sport.
Several of the country’s heroes from the akharas of Haryana or rickety gymnasiums in Tripura have emerged from humble backgrounds, underlining the power of sports as a tool for social transformation. Tata Trusts are focused on strengthening this shift in momentum by actively working in underserved parts of the country, reawakening aspirations and fostering a culture of hard work and excellence among children.
Tata Trusts believe that the work of their teams and partners can build and nurture young children by working to create an ecosystem that can assist in their development. The Trusts’ effort is to collaborate with partners and government to make the most of the country’s facilities in shaping an environment that is conducive for development. The Trusts actively seek to engage with professional trainers with significant experience in sport to offer quality learning opportunities for the children.
With a view to help India rediscover its glory in sports, Tata Trusts are incubating programmes for professionalising grass-root level sports and nurturing talent.