NOW AVAILABLE
ON STANDS

Currrent - Issue
HOME

Current Issue

July 2014
 >> Cover Story
 >> From the Editor


     


No Games Just Sports

With his connections in the sports world, you'd think Vikram Kaul has Gatorade in his veins. Now with the Commonwealth Games coming to Delhi in 2010, the arc lights are going to be in his direction.

By Nishtha Shukla

 

Idely travelled, well versed with the Commonwealth and its issues, and steeped in sports. Vikram Kaul aims to educate the dynamic youth of the Commonwealth states for their development. This through his favourite pastime—sports. When Kaul organises sport events within the Commonwealth, it might not always make the headlines. But it draws power people from across the board. That he has worked with corporate names like Raymond's, MRF and Sterling Resorts, and chief guests at events he organises have included Sir Swraj Paul, Mohd. Azharuddin and Jyotiraditya Scindia is reason enough to believe that.

 

Kaul started his social activities as a student with initiating shram daan camps, taking upon himself the task of cleaning up villages, conducting blood camps and eye camps. He would do all this as a teenager. Since then he has worked on a national scale with rural development projects throughout the '90s at Rai Barelli. He even won the Sir Syed national award in 2003 for social activism. Kaul comes from a family of politicians—his mother Shiela Kaul was Member of Parliament and formerly the Governor of Himachal Pradesh. Indira Gandhi was his cousin.

 
But Kaul didn't pursue any political ambitions. In his own way he went about promoting sports and development through his charitable Jawaharlal Nehru Sports Trust (JNST) that he established in 1984. And his way, he says, “Was to collect the right people, and to find time, energy and funds for this.” Kaul has been instrumental in starting cricket in countries like Canada , Kenya , Singapore and Malaysia. He trained the teams and organised teams and their events. His contribution to cricket in Dubai as an Honorary Secretary of the Dubai Cricket Council
has been of primary importance to the country.
 

Kaul got the game to the desert two decades ago when the sultry weather of the place made playing cricket difficult. With his dedication along with Dubai Cricket Council Chairman Falaknaz, the country plays record number of matches in one single season. The playing fields have improved from being pebble strewn to becoming grounds of international standards. The council started with 20-odd teams but today has more than a hundred registered teams. DCC is of primary importance in the UAE today.

 

They have also held an encounter between the MPs of India and Lords and Commons Cricket team from Britain .

“I want to do good for the Commonwealth by working on the objectives of youth experience. Doing that through sports, we can increase their absorbing ability and teach issues more effectively.” And he hopes to create ambassadors of goodwill among nations with all the various events he conducts between various teams of the commonwealth.

JNST is the promoter of the Commonwealth Youth Sports Development Council. They have held events like the Under-19 Commonwealth Cricket Championship and the Under-16 Commonwealth Cricket Championship in 2004 that have had participation from countries like Australia , Bangladesh , Caribbean , Kenya , Malaysia , Singapore , South Africa and Sri Lanka besides India .

Marketing it seems is in his genes as he went about doing pioneering work at a variety of places. From pioneering air traffic for the Haj Pilgrimage from India to developing student traffic from East and West Africa and Fiji to India . He has also played a major role in the establishment of the tourism department within Air India by way of promoting large tourist movements to and from Western Europe and North America . And he has been a member on the visa and coordination committees of the US Embassy and British High Commission at New Delhi .

But sports are where his heart lies and he is doing it through JNST and CYSDC. Few would know that he has provided expertise in the staging of cricket events in Canada , Kenya and Singapore . He was also organizer of the India-South Africa ODI cricket event in 1993 that raised Rs 10 lakh for the Rajiv Gandhi Foundation.

He has been member of associations like UP Cricket Association (1966-69) and the Asian Cricket Council (1993-96). He also got Frank Worrell's name accredited with the BCCI to start the All India SF Worrell Memorial Cricket Tournament in 1965, the first truly national tournament then.

Now the General Secretary of CYSDC he is working to support youth of commonwealth countries. He says the organisation's mission is to maximize the participation of youth in development and democracy, and shaping the future of their communities and societies.

The organisation has events planned for coming years like the Commonwealth Youth Sports Congress in Nov 2007. Kaul is also on a high with the coming Commonwealth Games 2010 in Delhi that he says he has been asked to assist in structuring the regatta for. Kaul is also preparing to assist the England and Wales Cricket Board to help train their players in the art of ‘spin' bowling. He is preparing to send a youth team to Trinidad and Tobago in May for their celebrations of 160 years of the landing of Indians there.

As of now, Kaul has enough planned for sport lovers. He is preparing to conduct a Golf tourney between Parliamentarians of India and Pakistan , and is ready to conduct a multi-sports competition between cadets of the Indian Military Academy and Pakistan Military Academy . Let's hope the Samaritan and sportsman got lucky with doing things for the love of sports and society.

The man who is regularly on the phone with people like Prince Tunku Imran and Intikhab Alam is on his way to work towards making the Commonwealth Games a success in 2010. With plans to make the games nothing but a success, he'd be bringing true every Indian's dream.

Box: The man who is regularly on the phone with people like Prince Tunku Imran is working towards making the Commonwealth Games a success