New Delhi, Oct 10 (IANS) Private sector JSW and the Indian Olympic Association (IOA) on Thursday announced the launch of India House that will be constructed in Tokyo for the 2020 Olympics.
JSW Sports Director Parth Jindal told mediapersons here that the initiative is aimed at creating a “home away from home” for Indian athletes and fans who will be travelling to Japan during the multisport event.
The construction of India House will get underway soon on a plot of land that has been rented in the Japanese capital.
“It’s a full build of construction. The land is about 2,227 square metres and it will be a multi-level building,” Jindal said.
It will have a hospitality zone exclusively for Indian athletes, their staff and their families.
“A lot of other facilities will be there for the public like an Indian restaurant, a section reserved for Indian brands to showcase and sell their products. We are in discussion with various public sector companies and corporates who will be putting up stalls at India House.”
Jindal said that the tourism boards of individual states will also be asked to showcase their services and selling tourism packages. “So we are also in advanced discussions with Air India and other Indian careers,” he said.
Entry to the Indian House and charges for services inside will be available at subsidised rates for Indian citizens. “If you are an Indian passport holder, you can enter at a nominal fee. We will also be highlighting all the events that Indian athletes would be participating at the Olympics.”
“We have tied up with the official ticketing partner of India at the Olympics. They would have a hospitality lounge and anybody who wants to buy tickets for events that Indians would be taking part in this can access India House as their zone for coordinating movements,” he said.
Although the athletes will be living at the Games village, the India House is aimed at creating a place they can see as a home away from home. Jindal said that the athletes’ hospitality zone will allow them to regulate the interaction they would want with fans, according to their own convenience.
“They will be having a completely separate section which will be having very little interaction with the general public. It will be upto the IOA, the ministry, the athletes’ coaching staff and the athletes themselves to decide how much access they want to allow. We will be working closely with the IOA and the ministry to ensure that the athletes are comfortable,” he said.
Jindal said that JSW is leading the initiative alongwith the IOA and is in talks with a number of corporates and public sector companies for funding. “We are depending on the Sports Ministry and the IOA to help us connect to various public sector companies and state tourism boards,” he said.
Jindal said that he and Mustafa Ghouse, CEO of JSW Sports, came up with the idea after their experience in Rio de Janiero during the 2016 Olympics. “In Rio, there was a series of houses of various countries located on one street near the Copacabana beach. Everybody who went to the Olympics to watch their athletes play would go into these houses at the end of the day. That is when Mustafa and I thought that since JSW is supporting Olympic sports in India, this will be a good thing to take up,” he said.