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On the special occasion of Amrit Mahotsav and Independence Day, we have seen the collective might of the country: PM
The importance of water and water conservation has been explained in our culture thousands of years ago: PM Modi
The construction of Amrit Sarovars has become a mass movement: PM Modi
Urge everyone to join the Poshan Maah campaigns in September: PM Modi
United Nations has passed a resolution declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets: PM
India is the largest producer of Millets in the world, it is beneficial for the small farmers: PM Modi
Digital entrepreneurs are rising in the country due to Digital India initiative: PM

My dear countrymen, Namaskar! In this month of August, all your letters, messages and cards have soaked my office in the hues of the tricolor. I have hardly come across any letter which does not carry the tricolor, or does not talk about the tricolor and Freedom. Children and young friends have sent beautiful pictures and artwork on the Amrit Mahotsav. In this month of independence, in our entire country, in every city, every village, the nectar of Amrit Mahotsav is flowing. On this special occasion of Amrit Mahotsav and Independence Day, we have seen the collective might of the country. There has been a sense of realisation. Such a big country, so many diversities, but when it came to hoisting the tricolor, everyone seemed to flow in the same spirit. People themselves came forward, becoming the vanguard of the pride of the tricolor. We had also seen the spirit of the country in the cleanliness campaign and the vaccination campaign. We are getting to witness the same spirit of patriotism again in the Amrit Mahotsav. Our soldiers hoisted the tricolor on the peaks of high mountains, on the borders of the country, and in the middle of the sea. People also came up with different innovative ideas for the tricolor campaign. Such as young friend, Krishnil Anil ji. Anil ji is a puzzle artist and has created beautiful tricolor mosaic art in record time. In Kolar, Karnataka, people presented a unique sight by holding the tricolor that was 630 feet long and 205 feet wide.

In Assam, government employees created a 20 feet tricolor with their own hands to hoist at the Dighalipukhuri War memorial. Similarly, people in Indore made the map of India through a human chain. In Chandigarh, the youth made a giant human tricolor. Both these efforts have also been recorded in the Guinness Records. In the midst of all this, a great inspirational example was also seen at the Gangot Panchayat of Himachal Pradesh. Here the children of migrant laborers were included as chief guests in the Independence Day Programme of the Panchayat.

Friends, these colors of the Amrit Mahotsav were seen not only in India, but also in other countries of the world. Local singers living in Botswana sang 75 patriotic songs to celebrate 75 years of India's independence. What is more special in this is that these 75 songs were sung in languages like Hindi, Punjabi, Gujarati, Bangla, Assamese, Tamil, Telugu, Kannada and Sanskrit. Similarly, in Namibia, a special stamp has been released on the Indo-Namibian cultural-traditional relations.

Friends, I want to share with you another thing of joy. Just a few days ago, I got an opportunity to attend a program of Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India. There, they had organised the screening of 'Swaraj', the Doordarshan serial. I got an opportunity to attend its premiere . This is a great initiative to acquaint the younger generation of the country with the efforts of unsung heroes and heroines who took part in the freedom movement. It is telecast every Sunday at 9 pm on Doordarshan. And I was told that is going to continue for 75 weeks. I urge you to take time out to watch it yourself and do show it to the children of the house. And people from schools-colleges can also record it and compose a special program when the school-college opens on Monday, so that a new awakening will arise in our country about these great heroes of the birth of Freedom. The Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav will continue till next year i.e. August 2023. For the country, for the freedom fighters, the writings and events that we have been organising, we have to carry them forward.

My dear countrymen, the knowledge of our forefathers, the farsightedness of our ancestors and the EkAtmaChintan, integral self realisation is so significant even today; when we go deep into it, we are filled with wonder. Our thousands of years old Rigveda! In Rigveda it is said:-

Oman-mapo manushi: amritkam dhaat tokay tanayaaya shyamyo: |
Yooyam Hisatha Bhishjo Matritama Vishwasya Sthatu: Jagato Janitri: ||

Meaning - O water, you are the best friend of humanity. You are the giver of life, food is produced from you, and from you is the well-being of our children. You are the protector of us and keep us away from all evils. You are the best medicine, and you are the sustainer of this universe.

Think about it…the importance of water and water conservation has been explained in our culture thousands of years ago. When we see this knowledge in today's context, we are thrilled, but when the nation accepts this knowledge as its strength, then their power increases manifold. You will remember, in 'Mann Ki Baat', I had talked about Amrit Sarovar four months ago. After that, the local administration got active in different districts, voluntary organizations came together and local people connected… - and Lo & behold, the construction of Amrit Sarovars has become a mass movement. When there is a deep feeling to do something for the country, realize one's duties, concern for the coming generations, then the capabilities also get added up, and the resolve becomes noble.

I have come to know of a brilliant effort from Warangal in Telangana. A new Gram Panchayat has been formed here, named 'Mangtya-Valya Thanda'. This village is close to the Forest Area. There was a place near the village where a lot of water used to accumulate during monsoon. On the initiative of the villagers, this place is now being developed under the Amrit Sarovar campaign. This time due to the rains during the monsoon, this lake has been filled to the brim with water.

I also want to tell you about the Amrit Sarovar built in Mocha Gram Panchayat in Mandla, Madhya Pradesh. This Amrit Sarovar is built near the Kanha National Park and has further enhanced the beauty of this area. The newly constructed Shaheed Bhagat Singh Amrit Sarovar in Lalitpur, Uttar Pradesh is also drawing a lot of people. This lake, built in the Niwari Gram Panchayat, is spread over 4 acres. The tree plantation on the shoreline of the lake is enhancing its beauty. People are also coming from far and wide to see the 35 feet high tricolor near the lake. This campaign of Amrit Sarovars is going on in full swing in Karnataka as well. Here in the village 'Bilkerur' of Bagalkot district, people have built a very beautiful Amrit Sarovar. In fact, in this area, people had a lot of problems because of the water flowing down from the mountain; farmers and their crops also suffered losses. To make the Amrit Sarovar, the people of the village channelized all the water and brought it aside. This also solved the problem of floods in the area. The Amrit Sarovar Abhiyan not only solves many of our problems today; it is equally necessary for our coming generations. Under this campaign, at many places, old water bodies are also being rejuvenated. Amrit Sarovars are being used for quenching the thirst of animals as well as for farming. Due to these ponds, the ground water table of the surrounding areas has risen. At the same time, greenery is also increasing around them. Not only this, people at many places are also engaged in preparations for fish farming in Amrit Sarovars. I urge all of you, especially my young friends, to actively participate in the Amrit Sarovar campaign and lend full strength to these efforts of water conservation & water storage and take them forward.

My dear countrymen, an interesting project is being run in Bongai village of Assam – Project Sampoorna. The purpose of this project is to fight against malnutrition and the method too is very unique. Under this, the mother of a healthy child from an Anganwadi center meets the mother of a malnourished child every week and discusses all the nutrition related information. That is, one mother becomes a friend of another mother, helps her, and teaches her. With the help of this project, in this region, in one year, malnutrition has been eradicated in more than 90 percent children.

Can you imagine, whether song and music and bhajans can also be used to remove malnutrition? It was successfully used in “Mera Bachha Campaign”; the “Mera Bachha Abhiyan” in Datia district of Madhya Pradesh. Under this, bhajan-kirtans were organized in the district, in which teachers as nutrition gurus were called. A Matka program was also held, in which women bring a handful of grains to the Anganwadi center and with this grain, a 'Balbhoj' is organized on Saturdays. Besides this increase in the attendance of children in Anganwadi centers, malnutrition has also shown a dip. A unique campaign is also going on in Jharkhand to increase awareness about malnutrition. A snake-ladder game has been prepared in Giridih, Jharkhand. Through play, children learn about good and bad habits.

Friends, I am telling you about so many innovative experiments related to malnutrition, because all of us also have to join this campaign in the coming month. The month of September is dedicated to festivals as well as a big campaign related to nutrition. We celebrate the Poshan Maah every year from the 1st to the 30th of September. Many creative and diverse efforts are being made all over the country against malnutrition. Better use of technology and also public participation has become an important part of the Nutrition campaign. From providing mobile devices to millions of Anganwadi workers in the country, a Poshan Tracker has also been launched to monitor the accessibility of Anganwadi services. In all the Aspirational Districts and the states of the North East, 14 to 18 year old daughters have also been brought under the purview of the POSHAN Abhiyaan. The solution to the malady of malnutrition is not limited just to these steps - in this fight, many other initiatives also play an important role. For example, take the Jal Jeevan Mission…this mission is also going to have a huge impact in making India malnutrition free. Efforts for social awareness play an important role in tackling the challenges of malnutrition. I would urge all of you in the coming nutrition month, to take part in the efforts to eradicate malnutrition.
My dear countrymen, Sridevi Varadarajan ji from Chennai has sent me a reminder. She has written something like this on MyGov – There are less than 5 months left for the New Year to come, and we all know that the ensuing New Year will be celebrated as the International Year of Millets. She has also sent me a millet map of the country. She’s also asked if you could discuss this in the upcoming episode of 'Mann Ki Baat'. It gives me immense happiness to see this kind of spirit in my countrymen. You will remember that the United Nations has passed a resolution declaring the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets. You will also be very happy to know that this proposal of India had been accepted by more than 70 countries.

Today, around the world, craze for these very coarse grains, millets, is rising. Friends, when I talk about coarse grains, I want to share one of my efforts with you today. For the last some time, when any foreign guests come to India, when Heads of State comes to India, it is my endeavor to get dishes made from the millets of India, that is, our coarse grains in the banquets. And the experience has been that these dignitaries have very much relished them and they also try to collect a lot of information about our coarse grains, about Millets. Millets, coarse grains, have been a part of our Agriculture, Culture and Civilization since ancient times. Millets are mentioned in our Vedas, and similarly, they are also mentioned in Purananuru and Tolkappiyam. If you go to any part of the country, you will definitely find different types of Millets in the food of the people there. In millets too, just like our culture, a lot of diversity is found. Jowar, Bajra, Ragi, Sawan, Kangni, Cheena, Kodo, Kutki, Kuttu, all these are just Millets. India is the largest producer of Millets in the world; hence the responsibility of making this initiative a success also rests on the shoulders of us Indians. Together we all have to make it a mass movement, and also increase the awareness of Millets among the people of the country. And friends, you know very well, millets are also beneficial for the farmers and especially the small farmers. In fact, the crop gets ready in a very short time, and does not require much water either.

For our small farmers, millets are especially beneficial. Millet hay is also considered the best fodder. Nowadays, the young generation is much focused on Healthy Living and Eating. Even if you look at it this way, millets contain plenty of protein, fiber, and minerals. Many people even call it a Superfood. Millets have many benefits, not just one. Along with reducing obesity, they also reduce the risk of diabetes, hypertension and heart related diseases. Along with that, they are also helpful in preventing stomach and liver ailments. We referred to malnutrition, just a while ago. Millets are also very beneficial in fighting malnutrition, since they are packed with energy as well as protein. Today a lot is being done to promote Millets in the country. Along with focusing on research and innovation related to this, FPOs are being encouraged, so that, production can be increased. It is my request to my farmer brothers and sisters to adopt Millets, that is, coarse grains, more and more and benefit from it. It feels good to see that many such start-ups are emerging today, which are working on Millets. Some of these are making Millet Cookies, while some are also making Millet Pancakes and Dosa. There are some who are making Millet Energy Bars, and Millet Breakfasts. I wish all the very best to all the people working in this field. In this festive season, we also use Millets in most of the dishes. You must share the pictures of such delicacies made in your homes on social media, so that it helps in increasing awareness among people about Millets.

My dear countrymen, just a few days ago, I saw news from Jorsing village in Siang district of Arunachal Pradesh. This news was about a change that the people of this village had been waiting for, for many years. In fact, in Jorsing village this month, 4G internet services have started from Independence Day. Like, earlier people used to be happy when electricity reached the village; now, in new India, the same happiness is felt when 4G reaches there. There has been a new sunrise in the form of 4G in the remote areas of Arunachal and North East; internet connectivity has brought a new dawn. Facilities which were once available only in big cities, have been brought to every village through Digital India. For this reason, new digital entrepreneurs are rising in the country. Setha Singh Rawat ji of Ajmer district of Rajasthan runs 'Darzi Online', an'E-store'. You will wonder what is Darzi online! Actually, Setha Singh Rawat used to do tailoring work before Covid. When Covid came, Rawat ji did not take this challenge as a difficulty; rather as an opportunity. He joined the 'common service centre' i.e. CSC E-Store, and started working online. He saw that customers were placing orders for masks in large numbers. He hired some women and started getting masks made. After this he started his online store named 'Darzi Online' in which he started selling stitched clothes of many other kinds. Today, with the power of Digital India, the work of Setha Singh ji has increased so much, that now he gets orders from all over the country. He has given employment to hundreds of women here. Digital India has also turned Om Prakash Singh ji of Unnao, UP into a digital entrepreneur. He has established more than one thousand broadband connections in his village. Om Prakash ji has also built a free wifi zone around his common service centre, which is helping the needy people a lot. Om Prakash ji's work has increased so much that he has hired more than 20 people. These people are providing broadband connection to the schools, hospitals, tehsil offices and Anganwadi centers of the villages and are also getting employment from it. Like the common service center, there are many such success stories are being seen on the Government E-market place i.e. GEM portal.

Friends, I get many such messages from villages, which share with me the changes brought about by the internet. The internet has changed the way our young friends study and learn. For example, when Gudiya Singh of UP came to her in-laws' house in Amoiya village of Unnao, she was worried about her studies. But, BharatNet resolved her concern. Gudiya carried on her studies through the internet, and also completed her graduation. How many such lives in villages are getting new strength from the Digital India campaign. Do write to me as much as you can about the Digital Entrepreneurs of the villages, and also share their success stories on social media.

My dear countrymen, sometime back, I received a letter from Ramesh ji, a listener of 'Mann Ki Baat' from Himachal Pradesh. Ramesh ji has enumerated many specialities of the hills in his letter. He wrote that the settlements on the mountains might be far apart, but the hearts of the people are very close to each other. Indeed, we can learn a lot from the lives of the people living in the hills. The first lesson we get from the lifestyle and culture of the hills is that if we do not come under the pressure of circumstances, we can easily overcome them, and secondly, how we can become self-sufficient with local resources. The first lesson that I mentioned, a beautiful picture of it is being seen in the Spiti region these days. Spiti is a tribal area. Here, these days, pea plucking goes on. This is a laborious and difficult task on hill farms. But here, the women of the village gather, and together, pluck peas from each other's fields. Along with this task, women also sing the local song 'Chhapra Majhi Chhapra'. That is, mutual cooperation here is also a part of folk tradition. The best example of utilization of local resources is also found in Spiti. Farmers who rear cows in Spiti, dry up the dung and fill it in sacks. When winter comes, these sacks are laid out in the sheds where the cows live, which is called khud here. During snowfall, these sacks give protection to the cows from the cold. After winters, this cow dung is used as manure in the fields. That is, the animals’ protection using animal waste, and also manure for the fields. The cost of cultivation is also low, and the yield in the fields is also high. That is why this area, these days, is also becoming an inspiration for natural farming.

Friends, many such commendable efforts are also being seen in our, other hill state, Uttarakhand. Many types of medicines and plants are found in Uttarakhand, which are very beneficial for our health. One of them is the fruit – Bedu. It is also known as Himalayan Fig. In this fruit, minerals and vitamins are found in abundance. People consume it not only in the form of fruit, but it is also used in the treatment of many diseases. In view of these qualities of this fruit, now the juice of Bedu, jams, chutneys, pickles and dry fruits prepared by drying them have been launched in the market. With the initiative of the Pithoragarh administration and the cooperation of the local people, it has been successful in bringing Bedu to the market in different forms. Bedu has also been launched in the online market by branding it as Pahari Fig. Due to this, farmers have not only found a new source of income, but the benefits of the medicinal properties of Bedu have started reaching far and wide as well.

My dear countrymen, in the beginning of 'Mann Ki Baat', today, we referred to the Azadi ka Amrit Mahotsav. Along with the great festival of Independence Day, many more festivals are lined up in the coming days. Just a few days from now, is the festival of Ganesh Chaturthi, the festival of worship of Bhagwan Ganesha. Ganesh Chaturthi, that is, the festival of blessings of Ganpati Bappa. The festival of Onam is also commencing before Ganesh Chaturthi. Onam, especially in Kerala, will be celebrated with a sense of peace and prosperity. Hartalika Teej too is on the 30th of August. The festival of Nuakhai will also be celebrated in Odisha on the 1st of September. Nuakhai simply means new food, that is, this too, like many other festivals, is a festival associated with our agricultural traditions. Meanwhile, there will also be the Samvatsari festival of the Jain community. All these festivals of ours are synonymous with our cultural prosperity and vitality. I wish you all the best for these festivals and special occasions. Along with these festivals, tomorrow on the 29th of August, National Sports Day will also be celebrated on the birth anniversary of Major Dhyanchand ji. May our young sportspersons continue to raise the glory of our tricolor on global forums, this will be our tribute to Dhyan Chand ji. Let us all keep working together for the country like this; keep raising the honor of the country…With this wish I conclude my point. Next month, we will have 'Mann Ki Baat' once again.

Thank you very much!

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Success starts with action: PM Modi at inauguration of National Games
September 29, 2022
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PM inaugurates world-class ‘Swarnim Gujarat Sports University’ in Desar
“When the event is so wonderful and unique, its energy is bound to be this extraordinary”
“The victory of the players and their strong performance in the sporting field also paves the way for victory of the country in other fields”
“The soft power of sports enhances the country's identity and image manifold”
“Savaj, the Asiatic lion mascot reflects the mood of fearless participation among India’s youth”
“When infrastructure is of good standard, morale of the athletes also soars”
“We worked for sports with a sports spirit. Prepared in mission mode for years through schemes like TOPS”
“Efforts like Fit India and Khelo India that have become a mass movement”
“Sports budget of the country has increased by almost 70 per cent in the last 8 years”
“Sports have been a part of India’s legacy and growth journey for thousands of years”

भारत माता की जय,

भारत माता की जय,

इस भव्य आयोजन में हमारे साथ उपस्थित गुजरात के गवर्नर आचार्य देवव्रत जी, हमारे लोकप्रिय मुख्यमंत्री भूपेन्द्र भाई, संसद के मेरे साथी सी.आर पाटिल, भारत सरकार में मंत्री श्री अनुराग जी, राज्य के मंत्री हर्ष संघवी जी, मेयर किरीट भाई, खेल संस्थाओं के प्रतिनिधिगण और देश भर से यहाँ जुटे मेरे युवा खिलाड़ियों।

आप सभी का बहुत-बहुत स्वागत है, अभिनंदन है। ये दृश्य, ये तस्वीर, ये माहौल, शब्दों से परे है। विश्व का सबसे बड़ा स्टेडियम, विश्व का इतना युवा देश, और देश का सबसे बड़ा खेल उत्सव! जब आयोजन इतना अद्भुत और अद्वितीय हो, तो उसकी ऊर्जा ऐसी ही असाधारण होगी। देश के 36 राज्यों से 7 हजार से ज्यादा athletes, 15 हजार से ज्यादा प्रतिभागी, 35 हजार से ज्यादा कॉलेज, यूनिवर्सिटीज़, और स्कूलों की सहभागिता, और 50 लाख से ज्यादा स्टूडेंट्स का नेशनल गेम्स से सीधा जुड़ाव, ये अद्भुत है, ये अभूतपूर्व है। नेशनल गेम्स का anthem ‘जुड़ेगा इंडिया, जीतेगा इंडिया। मैं कहुंगा जुड़ेगा इंडिया, आप बोलियेगा जीतेगा इंडिया। ‘जुड़ेगा इंडिया, जीतेगा इंडिया, ‘जुड़ेगा इंडिया, जीतेगा इंडिया, ‘जुड़ेगा इंडिया, जीतेगा इंडिया, ये शब्द, ये भाव आज आसमान में गूंज रहा है। आपका उत्साह आज आपके चेहरों पर चमक रहा है। ये चमक आगाज है, खेल की दुनिया के आने वाले सुनहरे भविष्य के लिए। नेशनल गेम्स का ये प्लेटफ़ॉर्म आप सभी के लिए एक नए launching pad का काम करेगा। मैं इन खेलों में शामिल हो रहे सभी खिलाड़ियों को मेरी तरफ से बहुत-बहुत शुभकामनायें देता हूँ।

 

साथियों,

मैं आज गुजरात के लोगों की भी सराहना करता हूँ, जिन्होंने बहुत ही कम समय में इस भव्य आयोजन के लिए सारी व्यवस्थाएं कीं। ये गुजरात का सामर्थ्य है, यहां के लोगों का सामर्थ्य है। लेकिन साथियों अगर आपको कहीं कमी महसूस हो, कहीं कोई असुविधा महसूस हो तो उसके लिए मैं गुजराती के नाते आप सबसे एडवांस में क्षमा मांग लेता हूं। कल अहमदाबाद में जिस तरह का शानदार, भव्य ड्रोन शो हुआ, वो देखकर तो हर कोई अचंभित है, गर्व से भरा है। टेक्नोलॉजी का ऐसा सधा हुआ इस्तेमाल, ड्रोन की तरह ही गुजरात को, भारत को नई ऊंचाईयों पर ले जाएगा। यहां जो पहले नेशनल स्पोर्ट्स कॉन्क्लेव का आयोजन किया गया, उसकी सफलता की भी बहुत चर्चा हो रही है। इन सारे प्रयासों के लिए मैं मुख्यमंत्री श्रीमान भूपेन्द्र भाई पटेल और उनकी पूरी टीम की भी भूरि-भूरि प्रशंसा करता हूं। अभी कुछ दिन पहले नेशनल गेम्स का official mascot ‘सावज’ भी लॉंच हुआ है। गिर के शेरों को प्रदर्शित करता ये शुभांकर सावज भारत के युवाओं के मिजाज को दिखाता है, निडर होकर मैदान में उतरने के जुनून को दिखाता है। ये वैश्विक परिदृश्य में तेजी से उभरते भारत के सामर्थ्य का भी प्रतीक है।

 

साथियों,

आज आप यहाँ जिस स्टेडियम में, जिस स्पोर्ट्स कॉम्प्लेक्स में मौजूद हैं, इसकी विशालता और आधुनिकता भी एक अलग प्रेरणा का कारण है। ये स्टेडियम तो दुनिया का सबसे बड़ा स्टेडियम है ही, साथ ही ये सरदार पटेल स्पोर्ट्स enclave और कॉम्प्लेक्स भी कई मायनों में सबसे अनूठा है। आमतौर पर ऐसे स्पोर्ट्स कॉम्प्लेक्स एक या दो या तीन खेलों पर ही केंद्रित होकर रह जाते हैं। लेकिन सरदार पटेल स्पोर्ट्स कॉम्प्लेक्स में फुटबाल, हॉकी, बास्केटबॉल, कबड्डी, बॉक्सिंग और लॉन टेनिस जैसे अनेकों खेलों की सुविधा एक साथ उपलब्ध है। ये एक तरह से पूरे देश के लिए एक मॉडल है। क्योंकि, जब इनफ्रास्ट्रक्चर इस स्टैंडर्ड का होता है, तो खिलाड़ियों का मनोबल भी एक नई ऊंचाई तक पहुंच जाता है। मुझे विश्वास है, हमारे सभी खिलाड़ी इस कॉम्प्लेक्स के अपने अनुभवों को जरूर enjoy करेंगे।

 

मेरे नौजवान साथियों,

सौभाग्य से इस समय नवरात्रि का पावन अवसर भी चल रहा है। गुजरात में माँ दुर्गा की उपासना से लेकर गरबा तक, यहाँ की अपनी अलग ही पहचान है। जो खिलाड़ी दूसरे राज्यों से आए हैं, उनसे मैं कहूंगा कि खेल के साथ ही यहां नवरात्रि आयोजन का भी आनंद जरूर लीजिये। गुजरात के लोग आपकी मेहमान-नवाज़ी में, आपके स्वागत में कोई कोर कसर नहीं छोड़ेंगे। वैसे मैंने देखा है कि कैसे हमारे नीरज चोपड़ा कल गरबा का आनंद ले रहे थे। उत्सव की यही खुशी, हम भारतीयों को जोड़ती है, एक दूसरे का साथ देने के लिए प्रेरित करती है। मैं इस अवसर पर, आप सभी को, सभी गुजरातवासियों और देशवासियों को एक बार फिर नवरात्रि की बधाई देता हूँ।

 

मेरे युवा मित्रों,

किसी भी देश की प्रगति और दुनिया में उसके सम्मान का, खेलों में उसकी सफलता से सीधा संबंध होता है। राष्ट्र को नेतृत्व देश का युवा देता है, और खेल-स्पोर्ट्स, उस युवा की ऊर्जा का, उसके जीवन निर्माण का प्रमुख स्रोत होता है। आज भी आप देखेंगे, दुनिया में जो देश विकास और अर्थव्यवस्था में टॉप पर हैं, उनमें से ज्यादातर मेडल लिस्ट में भी टॉप पर होते हैं। इसलिए, खेल के मैदान में खिलाड़ियों की जीत, उनका दमदार प्रदर्शन, अन्य क्षेत्रों में देश की जीत का भी रास्ता बनाता है। स्पोर्ट्स की सॉफ्ट पावर, देश की पहचान को, देश की छवि को कई गुना ज्यादा बेहतर बना देती है।

 

साथियों,

मैं स्पोर्ट्स के साथियों को अक्सर कहता हूँ- Success starts with action! यानी, आपने जिस क्षण शुरुआत कर दी, उसी क्षण सफलता की शुरुआत भी हो गई। आपको लड़ना पड़ सकता है, जूझना पड़ सकता है। आप लड़खड़ा सकते हैं, गिर सकते हैं। लेकिन, अगर आपने दौड़ने का जज़्बा नहीं छोड़ा है, आप चलते जा रहे हैं तो ये मानकर चलिए कि जीत खुद एक-एक कदम आपकी ओर बढ़ रही है। आजादी के अमृतकाल में देश ने इसी हौसले के साथ नए भारत के निर्माण की शुरुआत की है। एक समय था, जब दुनिया ओलंपिक्स जैसे वैश्विक खेल महाकुंभ के लिए दीवानी होती थी। लेकिन हमारे यहाँ वो खेल, बरसों तक सिर्फ जनरल नॉलेज के विषय के तौर पर ही समेट दिए गए थे। लेकिन अब मिजाज बदला है, मूड नया है, माहौल नया है। 2014 से ‘फ़र्स्ट एंड बेस्ट’ का जो सिलसिला देश में शुरू हुआ है, हमारे युवाओं ने वो जलवा खेलों में भी बरकरार रखा है।

आप देखिए, आठ साल पहले तक भारत के खिलाड़ी, सौ से भी कम इंटरनेशनल इवेंट्स में हिस्सा लेते थे। अब भारत के खिलाड़ी तीन सौ से भी ज्यादा इंटरनेशनल इवेंट्स में शामिल होते हैं। आठ साल पहले भारत के खिलाड़ी, 20-25 खेलों को खेलने ही जाते थे। अब भारत के खिलाड़ी करीब 40 अलग-अलग खेलों में हिस्सा लेने जाते हैं। आज भारत के मेडल की संख्या भी बढ़ रही है और भारत की धमक भी बढ़ रही है। कोरोना के कठिन समय में भी देश ने अपने खिलाड़ियों का मनोबल कम नहीं होने दिया। हमने हमारे युवाओं को हर जरूरी संसाधन दिये, ट्रेनिंग के लिए विदेश भेजा। हमने स्पोर्ट्स स्पिरिट के साथ स्पोर्ट्स के लिए काम किया। TOPS जैसी योजनाओं के जरिए वर्षों तक मिशन मोड में तैयारी की। आज बड़े-बड़े खिलाड़ियों की सफलता से लेकर नए खिलाड़ियों के भविष्य निर्माण तक, TOPS एक बड़ी भूमिका निभा रहा है। आज हमारे युवा हर खेल में नए रिकॉर्ड्स बना रहे हैं, और अपने ही रिकॉर्ड्स ब्रेक भी करते चले जा रहे हैं। टोक्यो में इस बार भारत ने ओलंपिक्स का अपना सबसे शानदार प्रदर्शन किया। टोक्यो ओलंपिक में पहली बार युवाओं ने इतने मेडल्स देश के नाम किए। उसके बाद थॉमस कप में हमने हमारी बैडमिंटन टीम की जीत का जश्न मनाया। यूगांडा में पैरा-बैडमिंटन टीम ने भी 47 मेडल्स जीतकर देश की शान बढ़ाई। इस सफलता का सबसे ताकतवर पक्ष ये है कि इसमें हमारी बेटियाँ भी बराबरी से भागीदार हैं। हमारी बेटियाँ आज सबसे आगे तिरंगे की शान बढ़ा रही हैं।

 

साथियों,

खेल की दुनिया में ये सामर्थ्य दिखाने की क्षमता देश में पहले भी थी। ये विजय अभियान पहले भी शुरू हो सकता था। लेकिन, खेलों में जो professionalism होना चाहिए था, उसकी जगह परिवारवाद और भ्रष्टाचार ने ले रखी थी। हमने सिस्टम की सफाई भी की, और युवाओं में उनके सपनों के लिए भरोसा भी जगाया। देश अब केवल योजनाएँ नहीं बनाता, बल्कि अपने युवाओं के साथ कदम से कदम मिलाकर आगे बढ़ता है। इसीलिए, आज फिट इंडिया और खेलो इंडिया जैसे प्रयास एक जन-आंदोलन बन गए हैं। इसीलिए, आज खिलाड़ियों को ज्यादा से ज्यादा संसाधन भी दिए जा रहे हैं और ज्यादा से ज्यादा अवसर भी मिल रहे हैं। पिछले 8 वर्षों में देश का खेल बजट करीब-करीब 70 प्रतिशत बढ़ा है। आज देश में स्पोर्ट्स यूनिवर्सिटीज बन रही हैं, कोने-कोने में आधुनिक स्पोर्ट्स इंफ्रास्ट्रक्चर तैयार किया जा रहा है। इतना ही नहीं रिटायर होने के बाद भी खिलाड़ियों को कोई तकलीफ न हो, इसके लिए भी प्रयास किया जा रहा है। रिटायर होने वाले खिलाड़ियों के अनुभवों का लाभ नई पीढ़ी को मिल सके, इस दिशा में भी काम हो रहा है।

 

साथियों,

स्पोर्ट्स, खेल, हजारों वर्षों से भारत की सभ्यता और संस्कृति का हिस्सा रहा हैं। खेल हमारी विरासत और विकास यात्रा का जरिया रहे हैं। आजादी के अमृतकाल में देश अपनी विरासत पर गर्व के साथ इस परंपरा को पुनर्जीवित कर रहा है। अब देश के प्रयास और उत्साह केवल एक खेल तक सीमित नहीं है, बल्कि ‘कलारीपयट्टू’ और योगासन जैसे भारतीय खेलों को भी महत्व मिल रहा है। मुझे खुशी है कि इन खेलों को नेशनल गेम्स जैसे बड़े आयोजनों में शामिल किया गया है। जो खिलाड़ी इन खेलों का प्रतिनिधित्व यहाँ कर रहे हैं, उन्हें मैं एक बात विशेष तौर पर कहना चाहता हूं। आप एक ओर हजारों वर्ष पुरानी परंपरा को आगे बढ़ा रहे हैं, तो साथ ही खेल जगत के भविष्य को नेतृत्व भी दे रहे हैं। आने वाले समय में जब इन खेलों को वैश्विक मान्यता मिलेगी, तो इन क्षेत्रों में आपका नाम legends के रूप में लिया जाएगा।

 

साथियों,

आखिरी में, आप सभी खिलाड़ियों को मैं एक मंत्र और देना चाहता हूं। अगर आपको competition जीतना है, तो आपको commitment और continuity को जीना सीखना होगा। खेलों में हार-जीत को कभी भी हमें आखिरी नहीं मानना चाहिए। ये स्पोर्ट्स स्पिरिट आपके जीवन का हिस्सा होना चाहिए, तभी भारत जैसे युवा और भारत जैसा युवा देश, उसके सपनों को आप नेतृत्व देंगे, असीमित संभावनाओं को साकार करेंगे। और आपको याद रखना है, जहां गति होती है, वहीं पर प्रगति होती है। इसलिए, इस गति को आपको मैदान से बाहर भी बनाकर रखना है। ये गति आपके जीवन का मिशन होना चाहिए। मुझे विश्वास है, नेशनल गेम्स में आपकी जीत देश को जश्न का मौका भी देगी, और भविष्य के लिए एक नया विश्वास भी जगाएगी। इसी विश्वास के साथ, ये छत्तीसवें राष्ट्रीय खेलों के शुभारंभ का आह्वान करता हूं।