Inaugurating the Khelo India University Games, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Thursday that Uttar Pradesh has become a ‘confluence’ of players from across the country. Inaugurating these games through video conference, he said, “A living proof of the attitude of the previous governments towards sports was the scam during the Commonwealth Games. There was a scam in that.”
The scam came to light in 2010 during the tenure of the Congress-led UPA II government.
PM Modi said, “The Panchayat Yuva Krida Khel Abhiyan used to run a scheme for the children of our villages and countryside to get a chance to play, but later its name was changed to Rajiv Gandhi Khel Abhiyan. In this campaign, the focus was only It was about changing the name, it was not shown about changing the infrastructure of the country’s sports.
In his address, Prime Minister Modi extended best wishes to the players participating in the Khelo India University Games. He said that being the MP of UP, I welcome all the players coming to UP.
He said, “Organization of these games will change the atmosphere of sports in the university and this sports festival will take the country to new heights. Today, a confluence of sports talents of the country has been made in UP. First we started Khelo India game. Now the Khelo India winter games have also started.”
Praising the state government, PM Modi said, “Excellent work is being done in Uttar Pradesh for the development of sports. These games will conclude in my constituency Varanasi and I am waiting for that. Such events develop team spirit.” and will be helpful in cultural exchange between sportspersons from different states.”
This year Khelo India University Games are being organized in Uttar Pradesh from May 25 to June 3. In these games more than 4750 athletes are representing more than 200 universities in 21 sports.
Games are being organized in Varanasi, Gorakhpur, Lucknow and Gautam Buddha Nagar. The mascot of the Games is Jeetu the reindeer which is the state animal of Uttar Pradesh. The Games will conclude on June 3 at Banaras Hindu University (BHU), Varanasi.
PM Modi said that a new era of sports has started in India in the last nine years. This new era is not only to make India a sports power in the world, it is also a new era of empowerment of the society through sports. He said that it is proposed to teach sports as a subject in our National Education Policy.
He further said that earlier governments had spent only Rs 300 crore on sports infrastructure in 6 years, while now Rs 3000 crore has been spent on sports infrastructure under Khelo India.
In the Khelo India University Games, Lucknow will host 12 sports (Archery, Judo, Mallakhamb, Volleyball, Fencing, Badminton, Table Tennis, Rugby, Athletics, Hockey, Football) at 8 venues. Gautam Buddha Nagar (Noida) will host five sports ( Basketball, Kabaddi, Boxing, Swimming and Weightlifting).
IIT-BHU, Varanasi will host two sports (wrestling and yoga), while, Gorakhpur and Delhi will host rowing and shooting respectively.
Sailing has been included in these games for the first time.
On the occasion of the inauguration, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur, Union Minister of State for Sports Nisith Pramanik and all the ministers and officials of the state were present.