Olympian Sanjeeva Kumar Singh is a Gold medalist in Archery. He graduated in Mechanical Engineering with Gold Medal from Birla Institute of Technology at Ranchi and later completed his MBA from Xavier Labour Relation Institute at Jamshedpur in 2000. He has won 56 medals (including 20 Gold) in his National and International sports career and has authored a book “Modern Archery – Precept and Practice. He is the recipient of Bihar Khel Samman Award from the Bihar State Government in 1997 and was awarded Arjuna Award by the President of India in 1992. He was awarded the Birsa Munda Award by the Jharkhand State Govt. in Sept’07 and Dronacharya Award in 2008. Sanjeeva holds a number of important positions which include – Government Observer, Ministry of Sports, Govt. of India, Member of the National Monitoring Committee on Sports, Joint Secretary- Archery Association of India,etc. He has also opened training center for archery in Jamshedpur which, has given us many gold medalists and talented players. Sanjeeva Kumar Singh is the envy of any youth.
Nityanand Pandey & Purvaja
Kindly tell us about your childhood days and your family background?
I completed my 12th in Banaras. Before that, I was in boarding school in Allahabad. My father always wanted that me, my brother, and sister should do good in studies as well as in sports, that is why he sent us to boarding school, as there they take care of both.
How did you start your career in Archery?
My career in Archery started in 1982 Asian Games. During that time, Asian Games needed more volunteers. Therefore, the Sporting Committee started selecting students from all the states. When they came to our school for selections, I was already the head boy of the school. Therefore, they started asking for someone who speaks good English and hence our sports sir recommended my name for that. In addition, it was a great opportunity for anyone of us. In Asian Games, I was the field in charge for archery ground. While working over there, we saw many Archery players from all over the globe. We interacted with them and gained real knowledge about Archery. As a sports person I gained more interest towards Archery. During the opening ceremony of Asian Games, we saw our people play for our nation, and march with the arousing Tricolour Flag. That moment, I got motivated to do something for our country. And from then I took Archery as my career. By reading books, I started playing Archery. Then in 1983, there was tournament in which I came 2nd in all over India and in 1984, I became the national player in Archery.
Who inspired you to choose Archery?
My father has played a main role in motivating me towards Archery. Because, from beginning my father always motivated us to be good in studies as well as sports. one must be good in everything.Therefore, because of this I was always focusing towards my studies as well as sports.
What is your most memorable Archery moment?
During Indian Federation Games, in Calcutta, when I defeated world champion… was the greatest moment of Archery in my life. After that, getting Dronacharaya Award and many more awards will always be memorable for me. Then when we made a child from Jharkand the first world champion junior, it was a proud feeling.
What was your equipment in Archery?
In Compound bow, there are much equipped parts like handle, limps, plunger button which controls flight, stabilizers, which dapples vibration and strings. So, now-a-days modern bows are made well equipped, made of advanced carbon. I used white bow in Asians and won the game.
Like cricket why doesn’t Archery gain such popularity?
Cricket has gained popularity because of much support it gets.If we start leagues for all the other sports, it will be possible to make them gain popularity. If you see, now days many games are coming up; Lawn Tennis, Badminton, Kabaddi, etc. If more people join Archery then, this sport will also gain more popularity. Now, even the Government is showing concern towards all games. Government has appointed a committee for National Observers so that each game can be played on a greater platform. If this thing continues, definitely, we will win something in 2020 Olympics, or in 2024.
You made your international debut at the Seoul Asian Games in 1986 where, Indian team finished in the fourth position. How was your experience?
That was the first time we went for Asian Games. Over there we met so many people and we learned so many things from them. In that year, many players were brought up like; Shyamlal, Dhulchandnam, etc. After this game, we were able to perform very well in all other competitions and now, we are even winning medals and awards in world champion platform.
Which tournament has meant the most to you?
For the first time, when I earned gold medal at an International level, in Singapore, was my best competition. That competition started my career at an International level. After that, I won more 19 international medals.
What innovations and improvement you would like to see in Archery in future?
In TATA Archery Academy, we first try to bring professionalism in Archery. Archery is a much matured sport so, it is necessary to bring professionalism in it. The first Corporate Sponsor Academy in India, who won first medal in world championship, is TATA Archery Academy. Then, Gopi Chand and others made their academy. We gave 6 world champions to India. So, to bring professionalism, to bring more knowledge about Archery from around the globe, all this has been done by TATA Archery Academy. There are many things, which needs improve ment in future. Now, sports is not about any single person, it needs a team, a dietician, a physiotherapist, a trainer, and many more. Therefore, there should be a perfect team. We are again talking to Government to increase competition.
You were the mentor of the junior players. Why did you choose to go for Tata Housing Development Company?
As you know, I am an engineer too. Therefore, to go on increasing in your life, you have to change your positions. This is the order to get ahead in your life. In addition, for a leader the biggest thing is that its department is working indigenously well, without him also. Therefore, it is a great thing for me that the sports department is working well without me also.
Have you seen an upsurge interest in shooting, from public and from new talents in India?
Now, there are many people, who are coming up from northeast region, many are coming from Assam and from Jharkhand and Bihar too. If you see, there are many talents in India and all are coming up as time is going. As you know Deepa Kumari World Champion and many more players. Therefore, there are talent and there are upcoming talents.
You have also written a book on Archery: ”Modern Archery-Percept and Practise”. What reviews you got for the book?
There was no book about Archery previously, therefore, I wrote a book on Archery. My main aim was to spread knowledge about archery to people, which, I did largely. People gave supporting review towards this book.
As you are one of the members of Indian Olympic Association, what things should be implemented for the improvement in Indian Sports according to you?
I think the main part is professionalism. There are many associations, which is not run by Professional people. As in private sector, the CEO’s is chosen so specifically, in the same way even for sports sector, there should be such type of selections. There are secretary, assistant, they are fine but there should be a person who will run the associate in a professional manner.
Olympics have not been organised in India till date, according to you what is the reason behind it?
For Olympic Games, it needs a very large infrastructure. Second thing is even the government should have the will power. Many medals have been achieved by India up till now. Therefore, I think it is the time that Modi ji should give our recommendation and I hope to see Olympics in India in 2024 or 2028.
Do you think Indian Sports is still not well equipped for competing against other nations?
If you compare, there is a lot of change in previous games and now-a- day games. Now-a-days, in camps, there are lot of facilities, which are available to players, and job opportunities is increasing. There is a change in a large platform. In front of Government, National observers and Sports Committee have placed many points. There will be a great improvement in sports if, those points are fulfilled.
What are your reviews on corruption which is going on within Indian Sports?
Corruption will be automatically reduced if; professionalism comes in sports. If you see, there is no problem in players or regarding players. There is something, which is regarded to teamwork, but as soon as everybody starts working technically even these things will be sorted out. Even Indian sports will be well advanced if, more techniques are brought up. If technical systems are provided ,then no doping problems will occur.
What is RERA? What is it about?
RERA is nothing but Real Estate Regulation Act. RERA brings transparency within the common people about the costly thing they are buying ,that is their house. RERA gives the common people the knowledge about everything regarding their house buying system. In RERA, a person has to update his details about his house planning information and then it shows each detail so, that the builder from whom they are buying does not bluff them.
Is RERA helpful for the nation?
According to me, RERA is helpful; it is building a very helpful level-creating field. The most costly thing a person buys in his or her life is their home. So, to give them the assurance about their home, to give assurance that their money is in right work, and many facilities are being provided to people through RERA. People can track the records of many housing companies and select their house. There are chances of getting black money reduced which, is extorted by housing sectors. So, these applications, which are built up in RERA will bring fairness in accountability and transparency through people. RERA is a successful step towards housing sector by the government. Simultaneously, our PM Modi started the initiative of Awaaz Yojana; because of which many developers will be interested in this field and more houses will be made and there will be a chance of getting more people at reasonable prices.
RERA is a big change and no benefits have been seen yet. What do you say about that?
Change itself is a challenge. Therefore, if there is a change then, there will be challenges. Nevertheless, after a period people will realise the good effect of this change. The black money, which the builders used to take and use it in another project, will be less. It will take time to show its effect but there will be improvement and development.
After demonetisation, what are the effects which Housing Company has faced?
Since, all the black money has been converted into white, Investors, who used to invest in real estate have gone. So, I think it’s a good change. Because of this, many changes have been seen in price. In north, there is a dip in prices. Moreover, in many other places there has a certain dip in prices of houses. Again, it will take time for the effects to be visible.
What policies and improvements have been done yet in Housing Company?
We have brought many developments in affordable housings because of which, we are working on 38 projects all over India. Our International projects are going on in Maldives and Columbia. In this way, we are growing. More technologies are going to be introduced. We are try to give faster monetization and to make green and sustainable houses for people.
Being Vice President of TATA Housing Development Company, what are your future planning for its development?
We are looking forward to see TATA Housing Committee to be number 1 in all aspects. There are many local Housing companies which are good like; Lodha, Wadhwa, etc. but, on a National level you see, we are the one who are running in 14 states and internationally as well.
Who are your role models?
In sports, my role model is …. And industrially, obviously Jadhe Tata is my role model. If you see, Sethji Tata when he started this in Jamshedpur, he wanted tall buildings and greenery and everything which you see today in 1904 and now all those things are implemented. So, even he will be my role model. In Politics, our PM Modiji. I think he is a dynamic leader. After Indira Gandhi, I think he is a great leader.
How do you spend your leisure time?
On Sundays, I give time for Archery. Moreover, sometimes I spend with my family.
What would you say to Indian athletes, looking to emulate you?
I would like to say, in any field three things are the must; Dedication, Determination and Discipline. In any field, there should be these things or else things will not work. Along with these three D’s if, you have Three P’s also; Passion, Patience and Perseverance along with a W; Will power then, anybody can reach to any extent in their life. If these seven dimensions are there in any person then, nobody can stop that person to reach their destination.
What message would you like to give to our readers and to your employees?
As I said these seven things should be there in a person moreover, their health and wealth. The person should take care of their wellness. As a sports person our health has to be our priority. So, take care of your health also.