India moving ahead with a holistic vision in sports: PM

Gorakhpur: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Thursday said that there was a time when neither new facilities increased in India nor new sports infrastructure took shape as a result three to four generations were lost, but now the country is moving ahead with a holistic vision where attention is also being paid on the training of the athletes.
Addressing the concluding ceremony of Saansad Khel Maha Kumbh virtually, the PM said, “There was a time when there used to be a lot of sports and games in the village fairs. Various games were also organised in ‘Akhadas’.”
He said, “But time changed and all these old systems gradually started to decline. The situation became so such that even the PT periods used to be held in schools were also considered as time pass periods. Because of such thinking, the country lost its three-four generations. Neither sports facilities were increased in India nor new sports infrastructure took shape.”
Modi said, “Now the country is moving forward with a holistic vision. Under the Khelo India Campaign, attention is also being given to the training of players along with other sports facilities. Several provisions have been made for this in this year’s budget. The budget of the Sports Ministry is almost 3 times more now as compared to 2014.”
He said, “Today many modern stadiums are being built in the country. Through schemes like Target Olympics Podium Scheme (TOPS) assistance of lakhs of rupees is being given to the players for training.”
The PM said that when people watch all kinds of talent hunt programs on TV they find that many children are from small towns. “Similarly, there is a lot of hidden and latent potential in our country which is eager to come out. Saansad Khel Maha Kumbh has a big role in bringing out such potential in the world of sports,” he said.
He said that hundreds of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MPs are organising such sporting events in the country today. “Imagine, a large number of young players are getting a chance to move forward. Beyond these competitions, many players will go on to play at the state level and national level. From among you such talents will also emerge who will go ahead and win medals for the country in international events like Olympics. That is why I consider Saansad Khel Maha Kumbh as a strong foundation on which a grand edifice of the future is going to be built,” he said.
Modi said, “I have been told that along with sports like wrestling, kabaddi, hockey, painting, folk songs, folk dance and tabla-flute artists have also participated in this competition. This is a very beautiful, commendable and inspiring initiative. Whether the talent is of sports or art-music, its spirit and its energy are the same. Specially the moral responsibility of taking forward our Indian traditions, which are in folk-forms, is also a shared responsibility on all of us.”
He said that this was his third programme in the Saansad Khel Maha Kumbh in the last few weeks. “I believe that if India has to become the best sporting power in the world, then for that we have to find new ways, choose new paths, create new systems,” he said.
The PM said that the Saansad Khel Maha Kumbh is a new route and a new system. “In order to promote the talents in sports, it is very important that there should be continuous sports competitions at the local level. Such competitions at the Lok Sabha level not only enhance the local talents, but also boost the morale of the players of the entire region,” he said.
He said, “Earlier when the Khel Maha Kumbh was held in Gorakhpur, about 18,000 to 20,000 players participated in it. This time this number has increased to around 24,000 to 25,000 thousand. About 9000 of these young players are our daughters. There are thousands of youth among you who have come from a small village or a small town. This shows how MP sports competitions are becoming a new platform to give new opportunities to young players.”
Modi said that along with events like Khel Maha Kumbh, the country’s emphasis today is on building sports facilities at the local level in small towns. “The Regional Sports Stadium of Gorakhpur is a great example of this. In the rural areas of Gorakhpur more than 100 sports grounds have also been made for the youth. I am told that a rural mini stadium is also being built at Chauri Chaura,” he said.
He said that along with Khelo India, campaigns like Fit India and Yoga are also moving forward. “For good nutrition, emphasis is being laid on Millets that are coarse grains. Coarse grains like jowar and bajra, come under the category of superfoods. That’s why now the country has defined them as Sri Anna. All of you have to join these campaigns and lead this mission of the country. Today, from the Olympics to other big tournaments, the way Indian players are winning medals, only young players like you will carry this legacy forward,” he said.
The PM while congratulating the players, who participated in the competition, asked them not to get demoralised with the defeat. “Some players must have won in this competition and some must have lost. Be it the field of sports or the field of life, there is victory and defeat. I would tell the players that if you have come this far, you are not a loser. You have learned a lot to win, gained knowledge, experience and this is the biggest capital to win. You will see how your sports spirit will open doors of success for you in future,” he said.

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