New Delhi, May 2 : The STAIRS Foundation (the Society For Transformation, Inclusion and Recognition through Sports) has been recognised as the national sports promotion organisation (NSPO) by the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports for promoting sports at the grassroots level.
Expressing happiness over receiving the recognition, Siddhartha Upadhyay, member, governing body of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), and founder & secretary general of STAIRS, said: "We are thankful to the government for this recognition. We are committed towards recognising and promoting sports talent. It's immensely heart-warming to see that your efforts are appreciated and recognised. The government has shown continuous confidence in us by not only recognising our efforts but honouring us with the Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar 2016, making STAIRS a part of the SAI, apex sports development and governing body."
"The NSPO recognition by the government reiterates the efforts made by STAIRS towards creating opportunities for children at the grassroots level. India is on a growth trajectory and on the way to becoming one of the strongest economies in the world. This recognition places the onus on us to optimally contribute towards India's growth story through sports development and youth empowerment," he said.
Charity With A Twist (CWAT), which recently registered STAIRS on its panel of NGOs, said: "The CWAT team believes sports should be an integral part of every human being because it's the most important thing for physical, mental and emotional growth. We feel extremely honoured to be associated with STAIRS, which is building a better India through sports at the grassroots."
In line with its approach, STAIRS School Football League (SSFL) was conceptualised in 2012 and launched in 2014 to promote football at the grassroots level and reach out to the youth in schools to facilitate an organised talent identification programme and economy.
STAIRS became the first organisation in the country to introduce the concept of grassroots sports development with the launch in 2001 of Khelo India, a sports initiative that acknowledged every child's right to play. It was designed especially for underprivileged youth with the aim to provide them free access to sports equipment, infrastructure and space.
The programme was later divided into Khelo Dilli, Khelo Haryana, Khelo UP, Khelo Himachal, Khelo Jharkhand and Khelo Odisha.
STAIRS is the first organisation to initiate state-based sports development programme and launched Khelo Mahaotsav in Himachal Pradesh.