Prime Minsiter Narendra Modi inaugurated the 11th Khel Mahakumbh at Sardar Patel Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. This annual sports competition organized by the Gujarat government is a platform to celebrate sports for holistic development as much it brings to the fore young state-level players with promising potential.
Shri Modi addressed the participants and lauded them for excelling in their respective fields. “As the chief minister of Gujarat in 2010, I initiated the Khel Mahakumbh. It was like sowing the seeds of a dream. I see that seed taking the shape of a huge banyan tree today,” he stated.
“This is not only the Mahakumbh of sports, but it is also the Mahakumbh of Gujarat’s youth power. The youth of the country and Gujarat have proved their mettle in several global sporting events, including the Youth Olympics, Commonwealth Games, and Asian Games. The Mahakumbh is like a prep for promising sportspersons,” the PM added.
Touching on corruption and lack of transparency in the selection of players as two rots that are stalling the rise of gifted athletes and sportsmen, he briefed that such annual meets are crucial in giving talent a chance to shine.
“In the first Khel Mahakumbh in 2010, the state registered participation of 13 lakh players from 16 sports disciplines. Khel Mahakumbh 2019 reached new heights and the participants reached a total of 40 lakhs in 36 sports and 26 para-sports. Now, this figure is reaching new heights once again, from 40 lakhs to 55 lakhs,” PM Modi said.
He also re-lived the glory Indian athletes won at the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics. India has won seven medals each, for the first time, in Tokyo Olympics as well as the Paralympics.
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