Social worker Girish Gandhi highlighted the role of sports journalists and how they create an impact through their work during the International Sports Journalists’ Day program organised by Sports Journalists’ Association of Nagpur (SJAN) at its Office situated in Vivekanand Nagar on Saturday. The Vanrai trustee was speaking as a chief guest of the SJAN event held to felicitate city’s veteran sports journalists.
Veteran sports journalists — Sudhir Tupkar, Shyam Sarvate, Roland Lancelot, Prashant Indurkar, Prabhakar Kapshe, Datta Wazalwar and Sanjay Lokhande — were feted at the hands of Gandhi. Sharad Suryawanshi, Director, Department of Physical Education and Sports, Rashtrasant Tukadoji Maharaj Nagpur University (RTMNU) was the guest of honour.
Gandhi hailed sports journalists on the occasion. “Sports organisations, coaches, managers and NGOs play a major role in taking sports forward. However, there are some elements in society that create hurdles when initiatives are being taken. During such difficult times, sports journalists play a pivotal role in successful conduct of activities by raising issues,” said Gandhi.
“Journalists should not only criticise by reporting the truth but also do constructive things through their work. And, SJAN is one such body which has done much constructive work and made an impact,” Gandhi added.
Suryawanshi emphasised that it was comprehensive coverage in print media that helped solve some tricky shortcomings at the city’s only synthetic track. “I had submitted numerous letters to authorities but things were not moving ahead. It started to move rapidly only when sports journalists started writing. In a matter of a few months, the track was relayed,” said the director of the department of physical education, RTMNU.
Suryawanshi also highlighted how news reports inspire players and their families. It also creates a difference in the lives of players from a humble background.
The 88-year-old Sarvate, who had worked for as many as five newspapers and was a renowned Marathi commentator, donated Rs.25,000 to SJAN before he narrated few of the interesting stories of his journey as a journalist. He also talked about the ethics and principles of a journalist while addressing the current generation of sports journalists.
Sanjay Lokhande, one of the founding members of SJAN, shared his memories with all veteran sports journalists present on the occasion. Lokhande narrated several interesting anecdotes during the late 90s early 2000s that livened up the event.
Earlier, SJAN president Dr Ram Thakur welcomed the chief guest and guest of honour and made introductory remarks. Naresh Shelke compered the programme, while Secretary Paritosh Pramanik proposed a vote of thanks.