The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the ‘Chintan Shivir’ of Ministers of Youth Affairs & Sports of States/UTs in Imphal, Manipur today via video message.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed delight that ‘Chintan Shivir’ is taking place in Manipur this year and many sportspersons from the Northeast have raised the glory of the Tricolour by winning medals for the country. The Prime Minister highlighted the indigenous games of the region such as Sagol Kangjai, Thang-ta, Yubi Lakpi, Mukna and Hiang Tannaba, and said that they are very attractive in their own right. “Northeast and Manipur have significantly contributed to taking forward the sports tradition of the country”, Shri Modi added. Further explaining the indigenous games, the Prime Minister mentioned Oo-Lawabi of Manipur which resembles Kabaddi, Hiyang Tannaba reminds one of Kerala's boat race. He also noted Manipur’s historical association with polo and said that the Northeast adds new colours to the country's cultural diversity and provides new dimensions to the country's sports diversity. The Prime Minister expressed confidence that Sports Ministers from all over the country will have a learning experience at the end of the ‘Chintan Shivir’.
“Any Chintan Shivir begins with contemplation, proceeds with rumination and ends with implementation”, the Prime Minister remarked, throwing light on the Chintan Shivir and underlined the need to discuss future goals and also review the previous conferences. Recalling the previous meeting in Kevadiya in 2022, the Prime Minister pointed out that many important issues were discussed and an agreement was reached to make a road map for an ecosystem for the betterment of sports. The Prime Minister touched upon increasing the participation between the center and the states in the sports sector and highlighted the strides that have been made possible. He further added that this review should not be carried out at the level of policies and programs but on infrastructure development and sports achievements of the previous year.
Highlighting the performance of Indian athletes and sportspersons in the last year, the Prime Minister lauded their phenomenal efforts, especially in international sports events. He stressed on further extending help to the players while celebrating these achievements. The Prime Minister pointed out that the preparations of the Sports Ministry and its departments will be tested in events like Squash World Cup, Hockey Asian Champions Trophy, and Asian Youth & Junior Weightlifting Championship in the times to come and stressed that while players are preparing themselves, it is now time for the ministries to work with a different approach regarding sports tournaments. Drawing the analogy of man-to-man marking in sports like football and hockey, the Prime Minister emphasized the need to carry out different strategies for each tournament and follow the approach of match-to-match marking. “You have to focus on sports infrastructure, and sports training according to each tournament. You also have to decide short-term, medium-term and long-term goals”, the Prime Minister said.
The Prime Minister said that fitness could be achieved by a player alone but it is the continuity that makes way for great performance. He underlined the need to play more competitions and sports tournaments at the local level so that players get to learn a lot from this. Shri Modi asked the Sports Ministers to ensure no sporting talent is overlooked.
The Prime Minister underlined that it is the responsibility of the government to provide quality sports infrastructure to every talented player in the country and emphasized the need for the central and state governments to work together. Touching upon Khelo India Scheme, the Prime Minister noted that it has definitely improved sports infrastructure at the district level and urged to take the improvements to the block level. He also stated that the participation of all the stakeholders including the private sector is important. The Prime Minister also suggested that National Youth Festival be rethought to make it more effective and said that such programs which are held in the states should not become just a formality. “India will be able to establish itself as a leading sports country only when such efforts are made all-round”, the Prime Minister said.
Highlighting the sporting developments carried out in the Northeast, the Prime Minister said that the region is a huge inspiration for the nation. He informed that projects worth more than 400 crores related to sports infrastructure are giving a new direction to the development of the Northeast today. The Prime Minister gave examples of the National Sports University of Imphal which will provide new opportunities to the youth of the country in the coming times, and efforts like Khelo India Scheme and TOPS that have played a big role in this. Informing that at least 2 Khelo India Centers in every district of the Northeast, and Khelo India State Center of Excellence in every State are being set up, the Prime Minister said that these efforts would become the foundation of a new India in the sports world and will give a new identity to the country. Concluding the address, Shri Modi urged the stakeholder to speed up such works in the respective states and expressed confidence that the Chintan Shivir will play an important role in this direction.
More than 100 invitees from various States, Union Territories and the Ministry of Youth Affairs are expected to attend the unique two-day Chintan Shivir and put forward their views and ideas on making the nation fitter and making India into one of the biggest sporting powers in the world. Also, discussions will be held for working towards the objectives of personality-building and nation-building, that is, developing the personality of youth by involving them in various nation-building activities.