The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Gorakhpur Saanasad Khel Mahakumbh today via video conferencing.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister noted that all athletes have worked hard to reach this level. He underlined that victory and defeat are part of the sports field as well as life and said that all athletes have learnt the lesson of winning. The Prime Minister said that sports spirit will open doors of success for all athletes in the future.
Commenting on the commendable and inspiring initiative of Khel Mahakumbh, the Prime Minister noted that artists from the field of painting, folk songs, folk dance and tabla-flute etc. have also taken part in this competition along with sports like wrestling, kabaddi and hockey. “Be it the talent of sports or art-music, its spirit and its energy are all the same”, the Prime Minister said. He also emphasised the moral responsibility of taking forward our Indian traditions and folk art forms. He noted the contributions of the Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur, Shri Ravi Kishan Shukla as an artist and congratulated him for organizing this event.
This is the third program in the Sansad Khel Mahakumbh that the Prime Minister attended in the last few weeks. He reiterated the idea to create new ways and systems if India has to become a sporting power in the world. The Prime Minister stressed the importance of sports competitions at the local level to promote talent and said that competitions at the regional level not only enhance local talent but also boost the morale of the players of the entire region. “The Sansad Khel Mahakumbh is such a new route, a new system”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister noted that 20,000 athletes had taken part in the first edition of Gorakhpur Khel Mahakumbh and that number has gone up to 24,000 where 9,000 athletes are women. Underlining that thousands of youth participating in the Khel Mahakumbh hail from small towns or villages, the Prime Minister said that Saansad Khel Mahakumbh has become a new platform that provides opportunities to young players.
“Irrespective of age, everyone has an inner desire to stay fit”, the Prime Minister said. Recalling the time when sports and games were part of village fairs where various games were organized in the akhadas, the Prime Minister lamented the change in recent times where all these old systems went through a decline. He also touched upon PT periods in schools that were now being considered as time-pass periods and said that it led to the country losing three-four generations of sporting contributors. Drawing an analogy to talent hunt programs on TV where many children from small towns participate, the Prime Minister said that India has a lot of hidden talent and the Saansad Khel Mahakumbh has a huge role to play in highlighting the country’s potential in the world of sports.
The Prime Minister informed that hundreds of Members of Parliament are organizing such sporting events in the country where a large number of young players are getting a chance to progress. He underlined that many players will go on to play at the state and national level and also win medals for the country in international events like the Olympics. “The Saansad Khel Mahakumbh lays the robust foundation of a grand infrastructure of the future of sports”, the Prime Minister remarked.
Giving the example of the regional sports stadium in Gorakhpur, the Prime Minister emphasised the government’s efforts in developing sports facilities at the local level in small towns. He informed that more than 100 playgrounds have also been laid down for the youth in rural areas of Gorakhpur and a mini stadium is also being built at Chauri Chaura. “Now the country is moving forward with a holistic vision”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined the emphasis on the training of players under the Khelo India Movement apart from other sports facilities.
Reflecting on this year’s Budget, the Prime Minister informed that the budget allocation of the Sports Ministry is almost 3 times more when compared to 2014. He noted that many modern stadiums are being built in the country and highlighted TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) where assistance worth lakhs of rupees is provided to the players for training. He also touched upon campaigns like Khelo India, Fit India and Yoga. Underlining that the country has given the identity of Sri Anna to millets, the Prime Minister said that coarse grains like jowar and bajra come under the category of superfoods. The Prime Minister urged the youth to join these campaigns and lead this mission of the country.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister said, “Today, from the Olympics to other big tournaments, only young players like you will take forward that legacy of winning medals.” He expressed confidence that the youth will continue to shine brightly and bring laurels to the country with the glow of their successes.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath and Member of Parliament from Gorakhpur, Shri Ravi Kishan Shukla were present on the occasion among others.