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Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi today desired to make the entire state a big sports ground and every Gujarati an ace sportsperson.

Addressing 5,000 physical instructors training camp at the Tridev Mandir complex at Adalaj near here, he said that participation in sports inculcate the spirit of sportsmanship and leadership qualities in every youth, necessary in every walk of life.

The camp has been organized preparatory to the four-tier Gujarat Sports 'Mahakumbh', as part of the state's golden jubilee celebration from November 20 to December 20, 2010. Nearly 18,000 athletes are expected to participate at the state-level competition, 1.50-lakh at district level, 3.20 at taluka level and over 8-lakh at the village level events.

Mr. Modi said the physical instructors teaching secondary school students have an additional duty of making the young minds strong and fit in body too. This will serve as a supplement to 'Vanche Gujarat' campaign launched earlier, to create interest among youth to read books, make them intellectually strong and a knowledge storehouse. Those excel in mental and physical strength will have a chance to join the Raksha Shakti University and serve the nation.

He took this occasion to remind the audience about the state's preparation for staging yet another unique feat of bringing 20,000 chess players at one venue.

He said it is for the first time in the history of the state that such training camp of physical instructors has been organized, jointly by the Youth Services Sports & Cultural Affairs and the Education Department.

Youth & Sports Minister Fakir Vaghela, Parliamentary Secretary Ishwarsinh Patel, legislator Rakesh Shah, Principal Education Secretary Hasmukh Adhia, Youth & Sports Secretary Bhagyesh Jha and Sports Authority of India-Gujarat Director-General Vikas Sahay, among others, addressed the camp.

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Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi today interacted with Governors of States regarding the Covid-19 situation and ongoing vaccination drive in the country, through video conferencing.

Prime Minister said that in the battle against Covid, along with the vaccines, our values and sense of duty are our biggest strengths. Praising the citizens who participated in this battle last year considering it their duty, he said that the same feeling of Janbhagidari needs to be encouraged now as well. He said that the role of the Governors, through appropriate utilization of their social capacity, thus becomes all the more critical to achieving this. Governors are an important link to ensure better coordination between State Governments and society, he said, adding that the combined power of all community organizations, political parties, NGOs and social institutions needs to be harnessed.

Prime Minister suggested that the Governors can actively engage to ensure that social institutions collaborate seamlessly with the State Governments towards micro containment. He said that their social network can help ensure an increase in the capacity of ambulances, ventilators and oxygen in hospitals. Along with spreading the message about vaccination and treatment, the Governors can also spread awareness about AYUSH related remedies.

Prime Minister noted that our youth, our workforce, is an important part of our economy. Hence, it is important to ensure that our youth follows all Covid related protocols and precautions. He said that the Governors’ role is also critical in ensuring the greater engagement of our students in University campuses towards this Janbhagidari. We also need to focus on better utilization of facilities at University and College campuses, he added. He said that just like last year, NCC and NSS also have a key role to play this year as well. Prime Minister said that the Governors are an important pillar of Janbhagidari in this battle and their coordination with State Governments and guidance to institutions of the State will further strengthen the nation’s resolve.

Discussing the rise in the number of Covid cases, the Prime Minister said that in this stage of the fight against the virus, the country stands to gain from last year’s experience and improved healthcare capacity. He discussed the increase RTPCR testing capacity and noted that the country has become Aatmanirbhar with respect to kits and other material related to testing. All this has led to a reduction in the cost of RTPCR tests also. He added that most of the products related to testing are also available on the GeM portal. Prime Minister emphasized the significance of increasing tracking, tracing and testing, and said that RTPCR testing needs to be increased from 60% to 70%. He said that it is pertinent to ensure that more and more people get tested.

Prime Minister underlined that the government is committed to ensuring adequate availability of vaccines. He highlighted that India has become the fastest nation to reach the landmark of 10 crore vaccinations. Noting the positive impact of Tika Utsav in the last four days, he said that in this period, the vaccination drive was expanded and new vaccination centres also came up.

Interaction

The Vice President of India, Union Home Minister and Union Health Minister also attended the interaction.

The Vice President appreciated the Prime Minister for leading the fight against Covid and his proactive steps to develop the infrastructure required to tackle the pandemic. He also highlighted the scientific community's contribution in giving a vaccine to India and the whole world. He also talked about the contribution of healthcare workers, sanitation workers, and other frontline workers who have played a vital role during the pandemic.

The Vice President called upon the Governors to bring up a coordinated front by leading all-party meetings in their respective states and engaging with civil society organisations to spread awareness about covid-appropriate behaviour. The Vice president said that a 'Team India spirit' cutting across policy lines should be adopted, and in this regard, Governors as the 'Guardians of the State' could guide the State Governments.

Union Home Minister stressed the importance of saving each and every life. Union Health Secretary gave a presentation on Covid cases and vaccination drive. He gave an overview of how India has followed a proactive and pre-emptive approach in this endeavour.

The Governors shared details of how their respective states are tackling the spread of the virus and coordinating activities towards ensuring a smooth implementation of the vaccination drive, while also mentioning the deficiencies of healthcare facilities in the States.

They gave suggestions for further improvement in the efforts and shared plans of how Janbhagidari can be increased through the active social engagement of various groups.