Sports and games are integral part of any healthy population and excellence in this field is an important parameter in determining the quality of human development. Therefore, societies used to encourage sports, games and physical exercise along with educational and cultural activities from early period by extending adequate facilities for such activities. Open spaces and playing fields had been set apart in villages and towns for sports activities and it was usual to have periodical events/competition in these fields. It was the case of our country also. But over a period of time such facilities have come down with the diminishing of open spaces and playing fields. At present there is hardly any playing space for youth and children in this country. There has not been any serious effort to protect, preserve and promote open space for playing and physical recreation for the people. It is high time now to seriously consider the need to protect and create open space and playing fields. The British, though having plenty of playing areas for young and old, still have a Playing Fields Association of Britain, headed by the Duke of Edinburgh. Keeping in view the ground reality, Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports have taken the initiative to find ways and means to protect and create playing fields. Accordingly a ‘National Playing Fields Association of India’ (NPFAI) headed by the Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports has been set up and it has been registered under the Societies Registration Act, 1860 on 24th February, 2009. The office of the Society will be at Shastri Bhawan, New Delhi.
Aims/Objects of the society:
To protect, preserve, promote, develop and improve playing fields and open spaces and other facilities for sports and games
To evolve a national policy on playing fields, playgrounds, play pitches, parks and open spaces.
In order to achieve its aims, the society would work towards the following:
To get necessary legislative backing to both protect and ensure adequate availability of free public access to play spaces and open spaces.
To create public awareness about the multiple benefits sports and physical fitness.
To mobilise support from general public, sports bodies, government, public sector, private sector (particularly large corporate houses), intelligentsia, media and others to build national opinion in favour of the objectives outlined by the society.
To recognize the need, utility and value of these facilities in promoting a healthy life style, social inclusiveness, and love for sports and games among one and all
To encourage the establishment of State and District level associations for this purpose with necessary provision for affiliation to the Society at the national level.
To carry out research studies and surveys to ascertain the needs and requirements of people for play spaces and open spaces and disseminate the information to those responsible for planning and making available such facilities for public use.
To develop basic principles, standards and norms for the provision of the play spaces and open spaces in rural and urban areas, which should be adopted by the competent agencies/authorities responsible for spatial planning.
To prescribe norms for relevant approving authorities for properly factoring the requirement of play spaces and open spaces while undertaking/approving the development projects by public/private entities.
To promote the concept of compulsory compensatory playing field/open space development where existing public playing fields/open spaces are lost on account of private or public projects.
Further the society would work to achieve the following:
I. To register online play spaces and open spaces.
II. To provide financial and other assistance for protecting, promoting, preserving and developing play spaces and open spaces.
III. To provide technical advice and information to Government, local authorities and other stakeholders on the creation, maintenance and development of play spaces and open spaces.
IV. To engage National Sports Federations and other sports promotion bodies to promote through their state, district and club level affiliates, sports and physical activities at the grassroots level.
V. To enter into bilateral and international cooperation to further the basic objectives of the Society.
VI. To accept or collect funds through grants, donations, sponsorship, subsidy, aid, etc from Central and State Governments, Public/Private Sectors, Non-Governmental Organisations, general public, high net worth individuals, International Organisations etc. either in cash or cheque or in kind for furtherance of the aims and objectives of the Society.
The society is headed by the Minister for Youth Affairs & Sports as Chairperson. The Governing Body of the society consists of 24 members who are senior officers of the Ministry of Youth Affairs & Sports as ex-officio members, representatives of the State Governments, and five eminent persons and four eminent sportspersons who have been nominated to the Governing Body.
Shri F S Nariman, Cdr Nandy Singh, Shri Bishen Singh Bedi, Ms P T Usha and Ms Indu Puri are among the founding members of the National Playing Fields Association of India (NPFAI)
The eminent persons nominated to the Governing Body are:
1) Shri F S Nariman, Eminent Lawyer
2) Air Marshal Denzil Keelor, President, Special Olympics Bharat
3) Shri M N Buch, Retired Civil Servant & Town Plan Expert
4) Shri Gurdev Singh Brar, Educationist
5) Shri S Ramabhadran, Physical Education Expert
The Governing Body also includes the following eminent sportspersons in different sports disciplines
1) Cdr Nandy Singh
2) Shri Bishen Singh Bedi
3) Ms P T Usha
4) Ms Indu Puri
5) Shri Baichung Bhutia