The Khel Mahakumbh 2012-13 got off to a grand start on the morning of Friday 18th January 2013. Speaking on the occasion, Shri Modi affirmed that the Government is leaving no stone unturned to promote sports across the state.
The Chief Minister shared that a record 25-lakh athletes will be joining this mega sports extravaganza, which includes 7 lakh women athletes. He added that this time there are 1 lakh specially abled athletes who will participate in the Mahakumbh and he specially congratulated the parents of these specially abled athletes. Shri Modi stated that if there were no elections towards the later part of 2012 then this Mahakumbh would have been completed before December 2012 and added that this year there will be 2 Khel Mahakumbhs- one of 2012 and the other of 2013 that will take place towards the end of the year.
Talking about the efforts to promote sports across the state, Shri Modi recalled that that in the past there were Taluka Games, State Games but these remained matters restricted to various schools and colleges only. “Governments gave budget but only those schools where there was an active sports teacher, sportspersons or interested parents that we saw interest. Sports were being played, money was being spent but something was lacking,”
He went on to say, “Not to give importance to sports is a great disservice.” Shri Modi affirmed that the Gujarat Government has made several efforts to promote sports across the state. “We have seen that during the Khel Mahakumbh our players have broken our own records and I am sure due to initiatives such as Khel Mahakumbh, increased professionalism and healthy competition a day is not far when Gujarat’s sportspersons will break records of the nation,” the Chief Minister avowed.
The Chief Minister shared that prizes, budgets for promoting sports have been increasing and the condition of the grounds are also getting better across the state.
Shri Modi opined that there can be no sportsmanship without sports and further said, “We do not want to restrict sports only till a field. We want to take it to the entire Gujarat so that it becomes a field of sportsmanship!”
Shri Modi said that the nation is commemorating the 150th birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda and till January 2014 Gujarat is standing shoulder to shoulder in commemorating Swami Vivekananda’s 150th birth anniversary. He shared that Gujarat commemorated 2012 as Yuva Shakti Varsh and would continue to commemorate 2013 as the same. He spoke about the creation of Vivekananda Yuva Kendras and the emphasis given towards skill and personality development.
He wished the athletes the very best for the sports extravaganza and urged them to keep decorum on the field. He also asked people to come in large numbers to the venues and support the athletes. Shri Modi concluded by declaring Khel Mahakumbh 2012 open.
Cabinet Ministers Shri Ramanlal Vora and Shri Ganpat Vasava, MoS Shri Nanubhai Vanani, Shri Bhagyesh Jha were among the dignitaries present on the occasion.
Earlier this morning, Shri Modi shared a blog ‘Ramshe Gujarat, Jeetshe Gujarat’ in which he talked about the importance of sports in our lives and the efforts by the state Government to promote a culture of sport among the people.