Let us all #Cheer4India: PM Modi

Published By : Admin | July 13, 2021 | 17:01 IST
Shares an informal, spontaneous session with sportspersons and their families
Wishes of 135 crore Indians are the blessings of the country for all of you: PM
Better training camps, equipment, international exposure has been provided to the players : PM
Athletes are a witnessing how the country is standing with each of them today with a new thinking and a new approach : PM
For the first time, such a large number of players have qualified for the Olympics and in so many sports : PM
There are many sports in which India has qualified for the first time : PM
It is the responsibility of the countrymen to ‘Cheer4India’: PM

Prime Minister: Deepika ji, Namaste!

Deepika: Namaste Sir!

Prime Minister: Deepikaji, I had discussed about you and many other colleagues in my previous edition of Mann Ki Baat. You are being talked about all over the country after you won the Gold in Paris recently. Now you are ranked world number-1. I have come to know that you used to target mangoes in your childhood while practicing. Your journey that started with mangoes is very special. The country wants to know a lot about this journey. It would be nice if you could tell me something.

Deepika: Sir, my journey was very good from the beginning itself. I liked mangoes very much and that's why the story was made. There was a little struggle in the beginning as the facilities were not good there. But after a year, I got very good facilities and I also got very good coaches.

Prime Minister: Deepikaji, when you reach such heights of success, people's expectations from you also increase. Now that the biggest event -- the Olympics -- is ahead,so how are you balancing the expectations and the focus?

Deepika: Sir, there are expectations but the highest expectations are from ourselves and we are focusing on that. I am focusing more on my practice and how I have to perform.

Prime Minister: Ok, many congratulations to you. You didn't give up and turned challenges into strength.On the screen, I can see your family members too. My greetings to them! The country has full faith that you will make the country proud in the Olympics as well. My best wishes to you.

Deepika: Thank You, Sir!

Prime Minister: Now we talk to Praveen Kumar Jadhav ji. Praveen ji, Namaste!

Praveen: Namaste Sir!

Prime Minister: Praveenji, I was told that you were first trained to be an athlete.

Praveen: Yes, Sir!

Prime Minister: Today you are going to represent the country in archery in the Olympics. How did this change happen?

Praveen: Sir, earlier I used to do athletics and my selection happened for athletics in the government's academy. Since I was a little weak at that time, so coach there told me that I could perform better in other games. I was offered archery. After that, I continued with archery in Amravati.

Prime Minister: How did you bring confidence and perfection in your game despite all this change?

Praveen: Sir, my financial condition is not good.

Prime Minister: I can see your parents. My greetings to them! Yes, Praveen, tell me.

Praveen: I knew that I would have to do manual work if I returnedhome. I thought it is better to work hard here and do something good for the future. That's why I continued.

Prime Minister: Look, you have learned a lot from your struggles in your childhood. Your journey from being a daily wage earner to representing the country is very inspiring. You had a very hard time, but you did not let the goal out of the way. How did your early life experiences help you to become a champion?

Praveen: Sir, whenever I felt that it was becoming a little difficult, I would remind myself that if I give up now, then everything will be over. So, it is better to put in more effort to become successful.

Prime Minister: Praveenji, you are a champion.But, from my point of view, your parents are also champions. I wish to talk to your parents as well.Namaste ji!

Praveen’s father: Namaskar!

Prime Minister: You thought about the future of your son while working as a daily wage earner. Now, your son is going to play in the Olympics. You have shown the true power of hard work and honesty. What would you like to say now?

Praveen’s father: ……

Prime Minister: Look, you have proved that if there is a will, no hurdles can stop anyone. With your success it has also become clear that if there is a right selection at the grassroot level, the talent of the country can do wonders. Praveen, I wish you all the very best and once again I greet your parents too.Play with full energy in Japan.

Praveen:Thank You Sir!

Prime Minister: Ok, now we will speak with Neeraj Chopra ji.

Neeraj: Namaste Sir!

Prime Minister: Neerajji, you are in the Indian Army. What part of your experience and training in the army helped you reach this position in sports?

Neeraj: Sir, I loved the Indian Army from the beginning. After I played for 5-6 years, I was asked to join the Indian Army. I was very happy and I joined the Indian Army and since then I am focusing on my game. Indian Army and the Indian government are providing me with all the facilities. I am working hard diligently.

Prime Minister: Neeraj ji, I can see your entire family with you. My greetings to them!

Prime Minister: Neerajji, I have been told that you got injured but still you have made a national record this year. How did you maintain your morale, your practice?

Neeraj: Sir, I am of the view that injury is part of sports. I was working very hard for the World Championship in 2019 …

Prime Minister: Great! You find sportsman spirit even in your injuries.

Neeraj: Sir, this is our journey. We have a very short career and we have to motivate ourselves. I had prepared well for the World Championship and Asian Championship. But, my one year was wasted because of the injury. Then I paid my full attention to the Olympics and made a comeback again. In the very first competition, I played well and I qualified for the Olympics. Then the Olympics got postponed due to Corona. But, I continued with my preparation. In the next competition, I played well and created a national record. I am working hard and will try to perform to the best of my abilities in the Olympics.

Prime Minister: Neerajji, it was great talking to you. I want to tell you one important thing; you do not need to be burdened with expectations. You give your 100 percent. Try your best without any pressure. I wish you all the very best and greeting to your parents too.

Prime Minister: Now, we talk to Dutee Chand ji.

Prime Minister: Dutee Chand ji, Namaste!

Dutee: Honourable Prime Minister, Namaste!

Prime Minister: Dutee ji, your name means shine.Dutee means aura! And you are also spreading your aura through the game. Now you are ready to dominate the Olympics. How do you see such a huge competition?

Dutee: Sir, first of all, let me tell you that I belong to a weaver family of Odisha. There are three sisters, one brother and my parents in the family. When daughters were born one after another, the people in the village would always criticize my mother. Ours was a very poor family, we did not have food to eat even and our father's income was also very low.

Prime Minister: Your parents are in front of me.

Dutee: I always felt that if I play well and bring laurels to the country, I will get a government job and can change the condition of my family. I have been able to change the condition of my family for the better. I will always thank you for supporting me. My life is full of controversies. Today, I would like to tell you through this medium that I had to face many difficulties in my life to reach this position. I am going to the Olympics for the second time. I am going with full courage and I am not afraid. No woman of India is weak.The women will go ahead and bring laurels to the country.With this belief I will play in the Olympics and will try to bring medals for the country.

Prime Minister: Dutee ji, your years of hard work is decided in a few seconds. The difference between victory and defeat is like the blink of an eye. How hard is it to face?

Dutee: Basically, if you look at 100 meters, everything is over in 10-11 seconds. But it takes a year to replicate it. A lot of hard work has to be done. We have to run 10-12 times for the 100-meter race. It involves a lot of exercise in the gym and swimming pool. We always have to take it as a challenge, because we know that if we slip even for a moment, we will be disqualified. So, we have to run keeping all these things in mind. At times, there is nervousness and fear in mind. But I fight back with courage as I have been doing in my personal life. As a result, my timing is good and I bring medals for the country.

Prime Minister: Dutee ji, you have created many records for the country. The country hopes that you will definitely be on the Olympic podium this time. Participate in the games fearlessly.The entire India is with its Olympic players. I wish you all the best and special regards to your parents.

Prime Minister: Let’s now talk to Ashish Kumar ji.

Prime Minister: Ashish ji, your father was a national level kabaddi player and there have been many players in your family. Why did you choose boxing?

Ashish: Sir,when I was young, the atmosphere at our house was filled with sports.My father has been a very good player at his time, so he wanted his sons to play boxing too. He did not force me to play Kabaddi. But my brothers used to play wrestling and boxing, and they have played at a very good level. So I was also asked to join either of the two. I was very thin and not stout, so I thought that I would not be able to do wrestling, and I should probably do boxing.That’s how I developed interest in boxing.

Prime Minister: Ashish ji, you have also grappled with Covid. How difficult has it been for you as a player? What did you do so that your game and your fitness were not affected? I know that you lost your father in this crucial time.Even in such a situation, you did not waver in your mission. I would definitely like to know your feelings.

Ashish: Sir, my father died 25 days before the competition. I was in shock and emotionally very hurt. I had to face a lot of problems at that time. Family support was something I needed the most at that time. My family supported me a lot. My brother, my sister, and all my family members supported me a lot.My friends also motivated me to fulfill my father's dream. They told me to leave everything and join the camp to realize the dream of my father. I became Covid positive when I was in Spain. I had some symptoms. Special facilities were made available to me there. I was in regular contact with my team doctor Karan. Whatever space was given to me, I used to practice there and do some fitness exercises. But it took me time to recover. I joined the camp after I returned to India. The coaches and the supporting staff helped me a lot. My coach Dharmendra Singh Yadav helped me a lot in my recovery and got me back again in the rhythm of my game.

Prime Minister: Ashish ji, I salute your family members. Ashish ji you will remember Sachin Tendulkar ji was playing a very important game and his father passed away at the same time. But he gave priority to the match and paid tribute to his father through it. You have done the same amazing thing. Despite losing your father, you gathered your strength and focused on your game. Your example is really inspirational in a way.You have proved to be a winner every time as a player. Along with this, you have overcome both physical and emotional challenges as an individual. The entire country has high hopes for you. We are confident that you will do well in the Olympics. I wish you all the best. I also salute your family members.

Prime Minister: We have a familiar face, a familiar name with us. Let’s talk to Mary Kom.

Prime Minister: Mary Kom, Namaste!

Mary Kom: Namaste, Sir!

Prime Minister: You are such a player from whom the entire country takes inspiration. There will be many players in this Olympic contingent for whom you have been a role model. They must also be calling you too. What do they ask you?

Mary Kom: Sir, everyone in the house is praying for me.My children miss me a lot. I explain to them that your mother is going on a mission for the country and you have to follow whatever your father says. I tell them to live in bonhomie and not step out of the house due to Covid. Children are also getting bored sitting in the house. They are taking online classes. Children love to play sports, but due to Covid they are not able to play with their friends. I tell them to remain alert and safe. I want you as well as me to be safe. I try to do something good for the country.

Prime Minister: I can see your children, they are listening to you. Though you are champion in all the punches, but what is your favourite punch? Jab, hook, uppercut, or something else! And also tell me why that punch is your favourite.

Mary Kom: Sir, my favorite punch is South Pole. My opponents find it difficult to avoid. It just hits them.

Prime Minister: I want to know who is your favorite player.

Mary Kom: Sir, my favorite player in boxing is my hero, my inspiration, Muhammad Ali.

Prime Minister: MaryKom ji, you have won almost every international competition in boxing. You said somewhere that Olympic gold is your dream. This is not only your dream but the dream of the entire country. The country hopes that you will definitely fulfill the dream of yourself and the country. I wish you all the very best, thank you to your family members.

Mary Kom: Many thanks, Sir.

Prime Minister: Let’s now talk to P.V. Sindhu.

Prime Minister: Sindhu ji, I was told that you wanted to practice on an Olympic size court before the Tokyo Olympics. How is your practice going on in Gachibowli now?

PV Sindhu: Practice is going on very well in Gachibowli,Sir. I chose this because the stadium is good and opportunity is also there. I have been practicing since February. I had taken permission from the government. While giving me immediate permission, they told me to follow all Covid protocols. I am very thankful to them for giving me permission immediately. So I thought that if I start now then it will not be difficult to go and play in a huge stadium in Tokyo.

Prime Minister: I greet your family members who are also in front of me. I remember Gopichand ji said in an interview that he had taken away your phone before the Rio Olympics. You were not even allowed to eat ice cream. Is the ban on your ice cream still on or have you got some liberty?

PV Sindhu: Sir, obviously, I do control a little,because diet is very important for an athlete. And since I am preparing for the Olympics, obviously, I have to control my diet. I do not eat ice cream that much Sir. I only eat occasionally.

Prime Minister: Sindhu ji, both your parents have been into sports and I want to talk to them as well. Namaste! Tell me that when a child's interest is to go into sports, it is very difficult for many parents. Many people have doubts. What message would you like to give to all such parents?

Parents: Parents should realize that if their children play, they will remain healthy and their concentration will also improve. They will do well in every field and they can make it to the top.

Prime Minister: You are parents to a successful player. What parenting is required to make children sportspersons?

Parents: Sir, parents have an important role as they have to encourage their children. You have to motivate them. You know that the government is providing all the facilities to every player. So, we need to make them understand that they have to perform really well for the country. We need to encourage them. We also need to teach them to respect their seniors and take their blessings.

Prime Minister: Sindhu ji, your parents have sacrificed a lot to make you a world champion. They have done their duty. Now it's your turn, work hard. I am sure that this time also you will definitely be successful. Since I meet all of you after your successes, I will certainly eat ice cream with you.

Prime Minister: Let’s now talk to Ela. Namaste, Ela!

Elavenil: Namaste, Sir!

Prime Minister: (Speaking in Gujarati) Elavenil, I was told that you wanted to go into athletics first. Then what triggered that you took up shooting?

Elavenil: Sir, I actually tried a lot of sports before shooting. I have been very fond of sports since childhood. I tried athletics, badminton, judo etc. But when I started shooting then I got a lot of excitement in this game because we have to be very steady. It needs a lot of calmness. SinceI lacked calmness, I thought let me try this sport as I will get to learn a lot. Since then I have developed interest in this sport.

Prime Minister: Right now, I was watching a program on Doordarshan. I was listening to your parents. You started with Sanskardham. Your mother was describing in detail. She was taking great pride. Many youth would like to know about your journey from school to the Olympics. I was the MLA of Maninagar and you live in Maninagar. When I first started the sports academy in my assembly segment in Khokhra, you people used to come to play.You were a child then and today I feel very proud after seeing you. So, tell me something about you.

Elavenil: Sir, my professional journey of shooting began from Sanskardham itself. When I was in the 10th standard, it was the call of mom and dad. They told me that if I had so much interest in sports, I could try. An MoU was signed between the Sports Authority of Gujarat and Gun for Glory Shooting Academy then. Sir, Sanskardham started the district level sports. So the studies used to happen there too. We used to train for the entire day there. That journey has been very good because from there I started and now I am going for my first Olympics. I feel very proud. Sir, so many people supported me and guided me, it feels really very good.

Prime Minister: Elavenil, you are also doing graduation. How do you balance your shooting career and academics?

Elavenil: Sir, I would like to thank Bhavan's Sheth R.A. College of Arts and Commerce of Gujarat University. Never did it tell me to come to college to do something compulsorily. They had given me so much leeway that they would make special arrangements for my exams. I used to have my seminars separately, Sir. My school and college have supported me a lot in my journey.

Prime Minister: Elavenil, your generation is ambitious as well as mature. You have achieved world level success at such a young age. The country hopes that you will continue this journey on the biggest stage of the game. I wish you all the very best and I would like to extend my greetings to your parents as well, Vanakkam.

Prime Minister: Let’s now speak with Saurabh Chaudhary. Namaste, Saurabh ji!

Prime Minister: You have qualified for the Olympics at such a young age. How and when did this mission of yours begin?

Saurabh: Sir, I started shooting in 2015. We have a shooting academy in a nearby village, from where I started. My family also supported me a lot. They themselves told me that if I like it so much then I should try. So, I went there and started practicing. Then I started liking it and continued with it there. With the good results, the Government of India also started helping me and today I am here, Sir.

Prime Minister: I can see your proud family members and dreams in their eyes. Saurabh, along with hard work, mental concentration is also needed in shooting. Do you practice yoga etc. or is there some other way which I and the youth of the country would also be happy to know?

Saurabh: Sir, I do meditation and yogain order to remain calm. In fact, we should know from you what you do as you are taking care of the entire country?

Prime Minister: Ok, Saurabh, tell me one thing, do your friends and colleagues come to youto take selfies with you and how do you feel? They would not have done it before?

Saurabh: When I go home, the friends in my village come to take selfies. They take selfies with my pistol. I enjoy it.

Prime Minister: Saurabh, you appear to be very focused which is very good for a young man like you. Shooting also requires the same focus and stability. You still have to travel a long way and achieve many milestones for the country. We all believe that you will do very well in the Olympics, and will go a long way in the future as well. My greetings to you and your family members!

Prime Minister: Let’s now talk to Sharath Kamal ji. Sharath ji, Namaste!

Sharath: Namaste Sir!

Prime Minister: Sharath ji, you have participated in three Olympics. You are a known player. What advice would you give to young players who are representing the country in the Olympics for the first time?

Sharath: This time the Olympics are happening in a new environment, in the midst of Covid-19. In the last three Olympics, our concentration was more on sports rather than on our safety and maintaining protocols. But this time apart from sports, we have to focus on these things as well. I would like to tell those who are going to the Olympics for the first time that if we don’t maintain protocols we can also be out of the game. But when we reach there for the Olympics, our focus should be entirely on our sports.

Prime Minister: Sharath ji,what is the change you notice in table tennis between now and when you started playing? Have you noticed any change in the approach of government departments related to sports?

Sharath: A lot of changes have taken place since I won the gold medal in the Commonwealth Games for the first time in 2006 and the last time in 2018 when we won gold medals as a team. There was a huge difference between 2006 and 2018. Now there is professionalism in sports. When I won in 2006, there was not as much professionalism. In fact, studies were more important and sports were on the sidelines. Now it is not like that. The government and private organizations are giving importance to sports. Now there are more opportunities to become a professional sportsman. There is also some guarantee to the children and their parents also. More than the guarantee, there is confidence (among parents) that if their children do well in sports, they can take care of their life. It is a very positive mindset.

Prime Minister: Sharath ji, you have vast experience not only in table tennis but also in major events. I think this experience will not only be useful to you, but will also be useful to the entire contingent of the country participating in the Tokyo Olympics. You have a big role this time in a way. I am sure that along with your own game, you will have a great contribution in handling the entire contingent and you will do it well. I am sure. My best wishes to you and your team too.

Prime Minister: Let's talk to Manika Batra ji.Manika ji Namaste!

Manika: Namaste Sir!

Prime Minister: Manika, I am told that apart from playing table tennis, you also teach this game to poor children. You help them too. You yourself are young, how did you get this idea?

Manika: Sir, I play in Pune and when I came here for the first time, I saw the unprivileged and orphans were playing very well and they were being taught at the centre. It was a very different experience for me. I felt that the things they did not get in their life or they could not do before, I should help them so that they can also become good players by following me. I also get motivation by watching them play. At such a young age, when they have nobody in their life, they play so well. I feel motivated watching them play.

Prime Minister: Manika, I have seen that you sometimes paint the Tricolor on your hand during your matches. Tell us about your inspiration, the idea behind it.

Manika: As a girl I like all these things like keeping the Indian flag.When I play the service during the match, I see my left hand and that Indian flag there inspires me. Therefore, whenever I represent the country, I keep with me something which is a part of India or the flag which is close to my heart.

Prime Minister: Manika, I was told that you are also very fond of dancing. Does your hobby of dancing work as a stress buster for you?

Manika: Yes Sir. Some people like listening to music. Dancing works as a stress buster for me.Whenever I find time during my tournaments, I come back to my room and dance. I enjoy it and it also gives me confidence.

Prime Minister: I am asking such questions that your family members, your friends are laughing.

Prime Minister: Manika, you are a champion at the international level. You are also connecting the children with your game. Your success will inspire not only those kids but all the young players of the country who play table tennis. I wish you all the very best and all your colleagues who are participating in today's program with great enthusiasm. Your family members are watching. I wish you the very best. Thank you very much.

Prime Minister: Let’s now meet VineshPhogat ji. Namaste, Vinesh.

Vinesh: Namaste Sir!

Prime Minister: Vinesh, you are from the Phogat family. Your entire family has given so much to the nation in sports. Doesn't this identity bring a little extra pressure, a little more responsibility?

Vinesh: Sir,responsibility is absolutely there because the family has started this journey, it has to be finished and the dream with which they started will probably end only with the Olympics medal. I am hopeful, Sir. The entire country has hopes; there are hopes of the family. And I think expectations are important for us because when thereare expectations then we push a little extra after reaching a particular level. There is no pressure. It feels good. We will play well and give the opportunity to make the country proud.

Prime Minister: Last time, you had to withdraw from the Rio Olympics due to injury. Last year also, you were ill. You have done exceptionally well overcoming all these hurdles. Turning so much stress into success is a big deal in itself, how did you do it?

Vinesh: Sir, it is quite difficult but we have to be mentally strong if we have to perform at the highest level as an athlete. There is also a big role of the family. There is the support of the family and the administration people are engaged with us in complete honesty. So, there is this thing in mind that we don’t have to disappoint those who have pinned hopes on us. We don’t have to pause, and, therefore, they are pushing us. There are so many such things which come to mind when we play. Therefore, we remain steadfast in our efforts whether there is injury or something else.

Prime Minister: I am sure you are going to put up a great performance in Tokyo. Should we hope that there will be a biopic on you too?

Vinesh: Sir, we need your prayers. I would like that all the athletes who are going there would not disappoint the country which is hoping for medals.

Prime Minister: Your parents have also joined this program. Your parents are also your guru in a way. I would like to talk to your father. Namaskar! My question to you is a little different. When someone is fit and healthy, it is said in our country – Which mill's flour do you eat? So which millet flour does the Phogat family feed their daughters? By the way, also tell me, what mantra you have given to Vineshfor Tokyo?

Father of Vinesh: They eat the flour of their village's mill and milk, curd, ghee, butter from those cows and buffaloes which we have. I thank the entire country (for their prayers) after Vinesh got injured in 2016. Today, the country has hopes for her. I made only one promise to her. I will come to the airport to receive you if you return with a gold medal in the Olympics, otherwise, I will not come. The last time, my daughter missed it. But this time, I am satisfied. You can look at her old tournaments. I have full faith in my daughter this time that she will bring the gold medal and will fulfill my dream.

Prime Minister: With the words of your parents, I am sure Vinesh you will definitely win. You fight, you fall, you struggle, but you don't give up. What you have learned from your family will definitely be useful to the country in this Olympics. Wishing you all the very best.

Prime Minister: Let’s now talk to Sajan Prakash ji. Sajan ji, Namaste! I am told that even your mother has made the country proud in athletics. What have you learned from your mother?

Sajan Prakash: Sir, my mother is everything to me and she was a sports person in earlier days and she helped me overcome all the struggles and hurdles for my achievements.

Prime Minister: I have been told that you suffered massive injury. How did you overcome this?

Sajan Prakash: The pool was closed for 18 months. We had lots of struggles. We were out of the pool for so long and the injury was very frustrating and depressing but with the support of all the people and my coaches, Gauri Aunty and KeralaPolice, Swimming Federation of India everyone supported me through thick and thin. I think that time they helped me to come out mentally strong and overcome this pain and injury,Sir.

Prime Minister: Sajan, you are making a place in the golden history of Indian sports even before the Olympics. I hope you will make this achievement more golden with your performance.

Prime Minister: Manpreet, I was told that during the first wave of Corona, all of you stayed in Bengaluruand fought against Corona together. How did this affect the team spirit?

Manpreet: Sir, I would like to say that there was a lot of support from the government at that time. When we were in Bengaluru, the issue before us was how to make our team strong. We worked on it. We worked together. We also got to know about the background of the players and how their families made the sacrifices for their children. We also got to know about so many things that our team bonding grew in strength. We thought that we had one year more so how we could improve further. We also studied about other teams, what are their plus and weak points and where we can hurt them. It would be helpful to us.

Prime Minister: Our country has a very illustrious history in hockey in the Olympics. So it is natural that you players must be under pressure to maintain the record. Do you have any extra tension during the game because of this?

Manpreet: No Sir, not at all. So far, we have won 8 gold medals in hockey, which is the most medals in any event. So we feel proud that we are playing the same sports. Whenever we go to the Olympics, we try to give our best and win medals for India.

Prime Minister: I can see your family members too. My greetings to them!Their blessings remain with you and the best wishes of the countrymen are with you.

Prime Minister: Manpreet,while talking to you, I am reminded of great hockey players like Major Dhyan Chand, KD Singh Babu and Mohammad Shahid. It is my belief and that of the entire country that you will glorify the great history of hockey.

Prime Minister: Sania ji, you have won many Grand Slams and played with top players. What do you think are the qualities needed to become a champion of tennis? Because nowadays I have seen that even in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities you havea fan following and the young people there also want to learn tennis.

Sania: Sir, I think tennis has become a global sport. When I started 25 years ago, not many people played tennis. But today, like you are saying, there are many such kids who want to take up tennis racket and want to become professional and who believe that they can become a top player in tennis. For that it is obvious that you need support, dedication and most importantly destiny because it also plays a role, but without hard work and talent nothing happens whether it is tennis or any sports. And now there are much better facilities.There are many good stadiums now compared to 25 years ago. There are hard courts. So I hope that many tennis players will emerge from India.

Prime Minister: How is your partnership with your Olympics partner Ankita Raina going? How are both of you preparing?

Sania: Ankita is a young player and she is playing very well. I am very excited to play with her and we played last year in February in Fed Cup matches. We did very well in that. Now we are looking forward to going to the Olympics and this is my fourth Olympics. It is her first Olympics. Now at this age, I need young feet which she can provide.

Prime Minister: Sania, you have seen the working of government departments for sports in the past also. What change did you feel in the last 5-6 years?

Sania: Since we organized the Commonwealth Games, there are many sportspersons in fields other than cricket who are doing well and earning a name for the country. This belief has increased in the last five-six years. Then, we always have the support of the government. Whenever I have met you, you have always reiterated your support. So, many things have happened in the last 5-6 years and there are so many changes now compared to the last Olympics.

Prime Minister: Sania, you are a champion as well as a fighter. I hope you will emerge as the most successful player in this Olympics. I wish you the very best.

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