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“The seed that I sowed 12 years ago has become a grand banyan tree today”
“India is neither going to stop nor is it going to get tired”
“The youth of India themselves have taken the responsibility of every campaign of New India”
“There is only one mantra for success - 'Long term planning, and continuous commitment'
“We started recognizing the talents of the country and giving them all necessary support”

 

Namaskar!

Bharat Mata Ki Jai!

Governor of Gujarat Acharya Devvrat ji, popular Chief Minister of the State Bhupendra Patel ji, my Parliamentary colleague and Bharatiya Janata Party State President CR Patil ji, Minister of State for Sports in Gujarat Government Shri Harsh Sanghvi ji, my Parliamentary colleagues Shri Hasmukh Bhai Patel, Shri Narhari Amin and Mayor of Ahmedabad Mr. Kirit Kumar Parmar ji, other dignitaries and my young friends from every nook and corner of Gujarat!

This ocean of youthful enthusiasm in front of me, this vigour, these waves of fervour are clearly depicting that the youth of Gujarat are all ready to reach for the sky. This is not only the Mahakumbh of sports, but is also the Mahakumbh of Gujarat's youth power. I wish you all the very best for the 11th Khel Mahakumbh. I congratulate the Government of Gujarat, especially the illustrious Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Bhai Patel, for this grand event. Due to Corona, the Khel Mahakumbh was put on hold for two years. But the grandeur with which Bhupendra Bhai has inaugurated this event has filled the young players with renewed vigour.

Friends,

I still remember, 12 years ago in 2010, when I was the Chief Minister of Gujarat, Khel Mahakumbh was started. And today I can say that the seed of a dream that I had sown has grown into a banyan tree today. Today I am witnessing the same seed taking the shape of such a huge banyan tree. In the first Khel Mahakumbh in 2010, Gujarat had started it with 13 lakh players in 16 sports. Bhupendra Bhai has told me that in the Khel Mahakumbh held in 2019, this participation had reached from 13 lakh to 40 lakh youngsters - 40 lakh players in 36 sports, and 26 para-sports! From Kabaddi, Kho-Kho and Tug of War to Yogasan and Mallakhamb; from skating and tennis to fencing, our youth are doing amazingly well in every sport today and now this figure is reaching 55 lakhs from 40 lakhs. The government is also taking up the responsibility of supporting the players of Khel Mahakumbh through programmes like 'Shaktidoot'. There is tremendous hard work behind a player's progress. And all these relentless efforts; the hard work of the players; the resolution taken by the people of Gujarat; everything is now bearing fruits in the world arena.

My young friends,

Are you not proud of this youth power of Gujarat? Are you not proud of the fact that the players of Gujarat are doing great? Emerging from Khel Mahakumbh, today, the youth of the country and Gujarat are showing their talent in many global sports events including youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Asian Games. Similar talents are going to emerge from this Maha Kumbh as well. It prepares young players. Such talents emerge from the playground and spread India’s glory around the world.

Friends,

There was a time when India's identity in the sports world rested on only one or two sports. As a result, the sports which were associated with the pride and identity of the country were also forgotten. So, the focus that should have been laid on increasing the resources related to sports and modernising the sports infrastructure was not there. Not only that, just as nepotism has entered politics, the lack of transparency in the selection of players was also a major factor in the sports world. All the talent of the players was wasted in battling these problems. Coming out of that vortex, the youth of India are reaching for the sky today. The scintillating spark of gold and silver medals is not only boosting the self-confidence of the country but also bringing wonderful results. The country with the most young people in the world is also emerging as a strong force in the field of sports. Our athletes have proved this in the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. India won 7 medals for the first time in the Tokyo Olympics. The same record was made by the sons and daughters of India in the Tokyo Paralympics as well. India won 19 medals in this global competition. But, friends, this is just the beginning. India is neither going to stop nor is it going to get exhausted. I have faith in the youth power of my country, I believe in the perseverance of the young players of my country, I believe in the dreams, determination and dedication of the young players of my country. So today, I can confidently say in front of lakhs of youth that the youth power of India will carry it ahead a long way. The day is not far away when India’s tricolour will also flutter among the several gold medal winning countries in different sports.

 

Friends,

This time the youngsters who have returned from Ukraine have come from a battlefield. They have escaped the bombs and gunshots. But what did they say after returning home? They said, "we have realised what the pride of the tricolour is today. We have realised it in Ukraine". But friends, I want to take you to another point. When our players used to stand on the podium after winning the medals and when the tricolour used to wave, the national anthem of India used to be played; you must have seen it on TV; tears of joy & pride would trickle down from the eyes of our players. This is patriotism.

Friends,

All of you youngsters have a huge role in giving direction to a young country like India. Only the youth can forge the future, and only the one who takes a resolution for it and gets involved with determination & dedication can build it. Today in this Khel Mahakumbh, lakhs of youngsters like you are connected here together from different parts of Gujarat, from different villages, cities and towns. You are working day and night to make your dreams come true. I see the future of your region in your dreams, I see the future of your district. I see the future of the entire Gujarat and the country in your dreams. Therefore, today from Startup India to Stand Up India; from Make in India to Atmanirbhar Bharat and 'Vocal for Local'; the youth of India have taken the responsibility of every campaign of the New India. Our youth have shown what India's potential is!

My young friends,

Today, from software to space power, from defence to artificial intelligence, India dominates every field. The world is seeing India as a great power. The 'sports spirit' can increase the power of India manifold. This is also the mantra of your success. And so I always say, ‘whoever plays, blooms’! I also have advice for all the youngsters – never look for any shortcut to success! You must have seen on the railway platform that some people cross the track instead of going over the bridge. So the railway officials have written down a message- 'Shortcut will cut you short'. The path of shortcut is very short-lived.

Friends,

There is only one mantra for success - 'Long term planning and continuous commitment'. Neither a single victory nor a single defeat can ever be our last stop! For all of us, our Vedas have said - ‘चरैवेति- चरैवेति’. Today the country is also moving ahead amidst many challenges, without stopping, without getting tired and without bending. We all have to move forward ceaselessly with relentless hard work.

Friends,

In sports, we need to perform 360 degrees to win, and the whole team has to give the best performance. There are good sportsmen here. Tell me, can a cricket team perform well by only batting well but bowling terribly? Will they be able to win? Is it possible to win if only one player of the team plays very well, even though the rest are not performing well? To win, the entire team has to play well in every area - batting, bowling and fielding.

Brothers & sisters,

To take sports in India to the pinnacle of success, the country needs a similar 360 degree teamwork today. That is why the country is working with a holistic approach. The Khelo India programme is a great example of this effort. Earlier our young talent used to get suppressed. They did not get a chance. We started recognising the talents of the country and giving them all the necessary support. Despite having talent, our youth used to lag behind due to lack of training. Today better and better training facilities are being provided to the players. The country is ensuring that there is no shortage of resources for the players. In the last 7-8 years, the sports budget has been increased by almost 70 per cent. There was a serious concern about the future of the players. Just imagine, if the player is not sure about his/her future, then will the player be able to give 100% dedication towards the game? Therefore, we have also increased the encouragement and awards given to the players by more than 60 per cent. Now all those coaches are also being rewarded through the different schemes who trained the medal winning players. Consequently, today various talents are emerging from the rural areas, backward classes as well as the tribal society for the country, for whom the country is feeling proud.

Friends,

Players in our country have been facing another strange problem. Earlier, if you used to tell someone - "I am a sportsperson". People used to say- "Well okay, you are a player; every child plays. But what do you actually do?" That is, we did not have an easy acceptance for sports here.

Friends,

Don't be upset. This problem was faced not just by you. Even the big players of our country had to go through this.

My young friends,

The success of our players has now started changing this mindset of the society. Now people are realising that a career in sports doesn't only mean becoming world number one. Youngsters can make a career in all the myriad fields related to sports. Someone can become a coach. Someone can do wonders in sports software. Sports management is also a major field related to sports. Many youngsters are making a great career in sports writing. Similarly, besides sports, many opportunities to be a trainer, physiotherapist and dietician also arise. Youth should consider all these fields as a career option for themselves and go ahead. For this, the country is setting up professional institutions. For example, in 2018, we established the country's first National Sports University in Manipur. Major Dhyan Chand Sports University is also going to start in UP for higher education in sports. IIM Rohtak has also started a PG Diploma in Sports Management. The 'Swarnim Gujarat Sports University' in Gujarat is also a great example of the same. 'Swarnim Gujarat Sports University' has played a major role in developing the sports ecosystem here. I am told that the Gujarat government is also building sports complexes at the taluka and district level to further broaden the sports ecosystem and infrastructure. All these efforts will further strengthen the professional presence of Gujarat and India in the sports world. I also have a suggestion as Gujarat has vast coastal resources. We have a long coastline. Now we should come forward in the direction of sports pertaining to our coastal region. We have such beautiful beaches here. The possibilities of beach sports should also be thought of in the Khel Mahakumbh.

Friends,

When you play, stay fit, stay healthy, only then will you connect with the country's potential. Only then you will become a master of value addition to the power of the country. And only then you will contribute towards nation building. I am sure that all the stars like you will shine in your respective fields in the Khel Mahakumbh and make the dreams of New India come true. I also want to request all the family members of the youth today. Time has changed a lot. If you have a child, a son or a daughter; if he or she is interested in sports, find that talent & interest and encourage the child. Give the child encouragement to move on. Don't pull them back for the books. In the same way, from the very first day of the Khel Mahakumbh, I have been saying that when the Khel Mahakumbh is going on in the village, the whole village should be present there. Even claps and cheering can boost the spirit of the players. Every citizen of Gujarat should physically attend the event of Khel Mahakumbh. You see, Gujarat will also flutter its flag in the world of sports. Players from Gujarat will also be soon among the players of India. With this same expectation, I once again congratulate Bhupendra bhai and his entire team. I wish all the very best to the youth. Say aloud with me, Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Bharat Mata ki Jai!

Thank you very much!

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