Dear Friends,

This year’s Khel Mahakumbh was filled with joy, achievement and pride for the whole of Gujarat. Earlier this year I got a request to meet a team of specially-abled athletes from Gujarat who had made India proud at the Special Olympic World Summer Games held in Athens. Keen to interact with them, I invited them to my residence and spent two hours with them. It gave me immense joy and I can never forget the meeting. In two hours, I saw in these athletes the desire to conquer the world. There was a burning passion in them to perform wonders. Their enthusiasm was unparalleled seeing which I was deeply moved. After the meeting, I had resolved to do something for these talented children. I spoke to my team in the sports department and sought support from NGOs, associations working in this field.

We used this year’s Khel Mahakumbh as a platform for these athletes to shine.For the first time 60,000 specially-abled athletes participated in this year’s Khel Mahakumbh adding a sense of gratification that words cannot even describe! The number is a record in itself. In the opening ceremony, a contingent of differently-abled athletes led the march past. It was a moment of great pride for all of us. Their success is not limited to their families but to the whole of Gujarat. I am glad to know that many of these athletes excelled in their respective sports.

When Virender Sehwag mesmerized the nation with his double century, Gujarat also celebrated the performance of 16-year-old Kokila Motpia in cricket. With a limited vision, she went on to score 215 runs in a cricket tournament, which was a part of the Khel Mahakumbh! She belongs to Dangs district, one of the remotest districts but neither geography nor eyesight deterred Kokila from winning our hearts with the bat, ball and her passion for the sport.

Double Centurion  Kokila Motpia with her bat. 

During the Khel Mahakumbh cricket semifinals for specially-abled athletes, one sportsman Sarfaraj scored nine sixes in one match; and this despite being severely handicapped. When such achievers excel, my heart is filled with a sense of unmatched happiness!

Sarfaraj in action! 

Maunesh Bhavsar’s story can be a source of inspiration for generations of sportspersons to come. This passionate cricket fan lost his wrists in accident at the age of 14 but his passion for the game continued! His life long injury did not take him away from cricket and in the Khel Mahakumbh finals for the specially abled, he took 2 wickets conceding only 4 runs in an important over due to which his team won! Maunesh showed he was no quitter and he has proudly earned his place under the sun with his stellar performance!

Maunesh Bhavsar performing wonders with the bat and the ball

The other success stories are equally touching! They can fill any face with tears of joy. A 20-year-old shy boy from Ahmedabad named Dipen Gandhi, with one hand and one leg displaced due to cerebral palsy, played excellent basketball and reached the national level. It feels great to know about the feat of Deval Patel, the sportsman with humble economic background and mental disability participating at the Special Olympics! His background or limitation did not deter him from reaching for the sky in a field that interests him. 

Friends this is the celebration of talent we seek to have through events such as Khel Mahakumbh! I am of the firm belief that the true purpose of sports cannot be realised until it takes the form of a mass movement. This movement cannot be achieved only by a handful of sportsmen and women. Participation should be broad based, with people from all sections, all age groups and all regions to make it a true celebration of life. It is for this reason that during the inauguration of Khel Mahakumbh 2011, I urged everybody to visit the venues and enjoy the treat that awaited them! I asked them to go out and imbibe some of the passion these athletes display, to be a part of their joys on the field and share their temporary bout of unhappiness when they lose a game. When one does this, one can enjoy sport and the bliss of meeting talented achievers.

The achievements of these specially-abled athletes remain very close to my heart! In them I see a fire that will not extinguish come what may, a passion to perform overcoming the challenges and a determination to take this world by storm. They turned their limitations into talents and went on to achieve finest laurels. My wish is to continue to give these athletes a platform, an opportunity to shine. I do not want age, region or any physical limitation to come in their way of realizing their dreams. More importantly, I am glad that Khel Mahakumbh could play a small part in their large achievement! My special thanks to the parents of these children, and I assure them that the journey of their talented achievers is as much ours as it is theirs! Swami Vivekananda once said, “You will be nearer to God by playing football than by studying the Gita.” Khel Mahakumbh has made these words alive in the truest sense.

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Fulfilling Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya ji’s dream of a developed and just India
September 25, 2015

Dear Friends,

Today we bow to Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya ji, on his birth anniversary. This year the occasion is even more special as it marks the beginning of Deendayal ji’s centenary year.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya is our inspiration. From his life we learn how an individual completely devoted himself to the wellbeing of the nation and the service of the poor. As a political organiser, his work was legendary. Without getting trapped into the lure for power he continued to work, selflessly.

Deendayal ji gave us the Mantra of ‘Integral Humanism’, which has been our guiding principle. This Mantra of ‘Integral Humanism’ stands out as a clear way of thought firmly rooted in the Indian tradition. ‘Integral Humanism also stands out for its emphasis on decentralization and attaches immense importance to the economic progress of every human being.

When I say that the Government of India is a government for the poor, it is deeply inspired by Deendayal ji’s idea of Antyodaya or serving the very last person in the society. India’s progress is dependent on how quickly we can free our nation from the clutches of poverty and provide every Indian a life of dignity, opportunity and aspiration.

For years, the poor of India figured prominently in rhetoric of politicians but when it came to delivery on the ground, there was a wide gap. Our government has been laser focused on bridging this gap. All our key initiatives, from Swachh Bharat, to ensuring that the poor have bank accounts, to creating a social security and pension framework to 24/7 electricity and housing for all are aimed at bringing a qualitative difference in the lives of the poor. The scope and scale of these initiatives is wide and unprecedented but we are confident that we will complete them and deliver the desired results.

Exactly on this day last year, the ‘Make in India’ initiative was launched. We believe that India is the ideal destination for companies from across the world to invest in. Our demographic dividend is ideally suited to drive this change and make India a hub for manufacturing, cutting edge research and innovation. With industry will come greater employment and learning opportunities for our youth, which will ignite the lamp of progress and prosperity in their lives.

A year on, I am meeting with top business leaders and investors in the United States, building on the ground we had covered last year. Wherever I am travelling, I have seen renewed enthusiasm towards investing in India. We, on our part are doing everything possible to further this spirit. We have made doing business easier, are working to make our tax structures more predictable, stable and competitive. We are simplifying procedures and removing regulations that are unnecessary. We are placing enormous focus on technology as well.

I am confident these efforts will directly benefit the poor of India and provide them the windows of opportunity they deserve.

Today, I will be addressing a UN Summit on adoption of post-2015 Development Agenda. The world is taking note of the menace of climate change and it must be highlighted that the greatest sufferers of the adverse consequences of climate change will be the poor. It is in a way a manifestation of Antyodaya that today the global community, from leaders to individuals and organisations are coming together to find ways to mitigate this adversity. I am hopeful we will draw up a clear roadmap on Climate Change Mitigation and towards Sustainable Development that will directly benefit the poor and the marginalised.

Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya always said, ‘Charaiveti, Charaiveti.’ This was an inspiring call to keep pursuing your mission without being overcome by any obstacles, to establish a system of sacrifice and hardwork. Let us follow the path shown by Pandit Deendayal Upadhyaya and work together to fulfil his dream of a developed and just India, where the poorest of the poor is taken care of.



Narendra Modi