Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath has chosen Meerut’s sporting goods industry to be branded under the state’s ‘One District, One Product’ scheme to promote indigenous products.
Navneet Sehgal, Additional Chief Secretary, Sports in Uttar Pradesh, explained the reason for choosing Meerut during the Sportstar North Sports Conclave in Lucknow on Thursday. “The program was introduced to select such clusters where traditionally an industry existed. When you watch an international cricketer use BDM and SS bats or SG ball, they are all from Meerut. This program helps the industry to innovate,” he said.
Sehgal also informed that the UP government is now looking to create seamless soccer balls in collaboration with sports equipment manufacturers in Meerut. “I initiated a search for the manufacture of ‘seamless’ footballs. Pakistan already manufactures it and exports it all over the world. Exports from Uttar Pradesh doubled from 88,000 crores to 156,000 crores. Of this number, 70% of the items are “One district, one product” products.
Not only that, he also said that UP is setting up a new sports university. “We just got the estimate that it will cost us around Rs 1000 crore. We will ensure that all the world-class sports facilities are available there,” he said, drawing a round of applause from the audience.
Vivek Kohli, co-president of Stag International, says the program is “one of a kind”. He said: “It’s a brilliant idea, but our vision can be bigger, as a bigger democracy. More than one million people are employed in the Meerut sports factory. Meerut can go on to become India’s ‘sports city’ with stadiums, huge sports exhibition halls, academies etc.
“Brand India needs to grow, but we cannot do it alone. We have Adidas, Nike and in table tennis there are so many Chinese brands. We need capital intensity. But what I’m proud of is the name we have (Stag International). I was a player so I have the thirst to win. I’m proud when I see a Stag label on international products. This year, Stag will celebrate its 100th anniversary.
The Hindu Sportstar North Conclave presents a series of carefully curated conversations with top sportspeople and sports industry experts on the revolution in the sports ecosystem in Uttar Pradesh. The dialogues will offer rare insight into the lives of sports stars and help find ways to ignite the nation’s Olympic dream.
The Conclave was organized in association with Hero We Care, a CSR initiative of Hero Motocorp, KJ Somaiya Institute of Management, Indian Oil, Shiv Naresh, Life Insurance Corporation of India, NewsX and KSG.
Readers can follow the event live on the Sportstawebsite sportsstar.thehindu.com.