Today’s new India does not put pressure for medals on its athletes but expects them to give their best: PM
Our villages and remote areas are full of talent and the contingent of para athletes is a living example of that: PM
Today the country is trying to reach the players, special attention is being paid to the rural areas: PM
To recognize local talent, number of Khelo India Centers will be taken to 1000 from current 360: PM
We have to keep on improving our ways and system to develop sports culture in India, shed fears of earlier generations: PM
The Country is helping its sportspersons with an open heart: PM
Whatever state, region you belong to, whatever language you speak, above all, today you are ‘Team India. This spirit should permeate every part of our society at every level: PM
Earlier, giving facilities to Divyang Jan was treated as welfare, today the country is working for this as part of its responsibility: PM
Laws like ‘The Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act’ and initiatives like ‘Sugamya Bharat Campaign’ are changing lives and giving confidence to numerous talents all over the country: PM


Joining me in the program is our Sports Minister in the Government of India, Shri Anurag Thakur ji, all the players, coaches, and especially the parents. Talking to all of you has given me the confidence that India is going to create a new history in the Paralympics Games also. I wish all the players and coaches all the very best for your success, for the victory of the country.


I can see in you infinite self-confidence and will power to achieve something. It is the result of your hard work that today the largest number of Indian athletes is going to the Paralympics. As you were saying, Corona pandemic added to your problems, but you did not let it affect your preparation and did whatever was needed to overcome that. You didn't let your morale down and didn't stop your practice. And this is what the true 'sportsman spirit' teaches us in every situation –‘Yes, we will do it! We can do it’ and all of you did it.


You have reached this stage because you are the real champion. You have overcome adversities in the game of life. You have won the game of life, you are the champion. Your victory, your medal is very important for you as a player, but I say it again and again that today’s new India does not put pressure for medals on its athletes. You have to give your 100 percent with full dedication, without any mental burden and without worrying about how strong the player is in front of you. Always remember that you have to perform with this belief in the arena of sports. When I became the Prime Minister, I used to meet leaders of the world. They are even taller than us in height. The status of those countries is also imposing. I too had the similar background as yours and people in the country used to doubt that Modi ji has no idea of ​​the world, what would he do if he becomes the Prime Minister? But when I used to shake hands with world leaders, I never thought that Narendra Modi was shaking hands. I always thought that a country with a population of more than 100 crores was shaking hands (with them). More than 100 crore countrymen are standing behind me. I had this feeling and,therefore, I never had any issues with my confidence.I see you have the confidence to score victory in your life and winning the game is a very small issue for you. Your hard work will ensure medals. You have already seen that some of our players won in the Olympics, while some others missed. But the country stood firmly with everyone and was cheering for everyone.


As a player, you know very well that along with physical strength in the field, mental strength also matters. It was your mental strength that helped you move ahead despite challenging situations. Therefore, the country is taking care of all these issues for its players. Workshops and seminars on 'Sport Psychology' are being organized continuously for the players. Most of our players come from small towns, cities and villages. Therefore, lack of exposure is also a big challenge for them. Sometimes, challenges like new places, new people and international conditions lower our morale. Therefore, it was decided that our players should get training in this direction as well. I hope the three sessions that you attended on the Tokyo Paralympics would have helped you a lot.


Looking at you, I can say that our villages and remote areas are full of talent and confidence. You are a living example of that. Many times, you would have thought what would have happened to your dreams had you not got the facilities regarding resources. We also have to worry about the same concerns for the lakhs of youth of the country. There are so many youths who have the ability to win so many medals. Today the country itself is trying to reach them and special attention is being given to rural areas. Today 360 'Khelo India Centers' have been set up in more than 250 districts of the country to identify talent at the local level so that they get opportunities. In the days to come, the number of these centers will be increased to 1,000.Similarly, resources used to be another challenge before our players. Earlier, there were no good grounds andquality equipment. It also had an effect on the morale of the player. He used to consider himself inferior to the players of other countries. But today sports infrastructure is also being expanded in the country. The country is helping each and every player with an open mind. The country also made necessary arrangements for the players through the 'Target Olympic Podium Scheme', set goals and the result is before us today.


If the country has to reach the top in sports, then we have to shed that old fear which was entrenched in the mind of the older generation. If a child was more interested in the game, then the family members used to worry what he would do in the future,because barring one or two sporting events, sports was no longer a measure of success or career for us. It is very important for us to come out of this mindset and the feeling of insecurity.


Whatever sports you are associated with, you also strengthen the spirit of Ek Bharat- Shreshtha Bharat (One India, Supreme India). It does not matter which state you belong to, which region you belong to, which language you speak, what matters is that you are 'Team India' today. This spirit should be visible in every part of ​​our society at every level. In this campaign of social equality and AtmaNirbhar Bharat, my Divyang brothers and sisters are very important partners for the country. You have proved that life does not come to a halt due to physical hardship. Therefore, you are also a great inspiration for the countrymen, especially for the new generation.


Earlier, providing facilities to the Divyang Jan was treated as welfare. But today the country realizes that it is its responsibility. Therefore, the Parliament of the country enacted a law -- 'The Rights for Persons with Disabilities Act' -- giving legal protection to the rights of persons with disabilities. Sugamya Bharat Abhiyanis another great example of this. Today hundreds of government buildings and railway stations, thousands of train coaches and dozens of domestic airports have been made Divyang-friendly. The project to make a standard dictionary of Indian Sign Language is also progressing. NCERT books are also being translated into sign language. Such efforts are changing the lives of so many people and giving confidence to so many talents to do something for the country.


When the country makes efforts, we get its golden results fast and that gives us the inspiration to think big and to innovate. Our one success clears the way for our new goals. Therefore, when you would give your best in Tokyo carrying the Tricolor, you would not only win medals, but you would also be taking India's resolve very far. You would give these resolutions a new energy and take it forward. I am sure that your courage and enthusiasm will set new records in Tokyo. With this belief, once again many best wishes to all of you. Thanks a lot!


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