Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Saturday urged sportspersons to concentrate on giving their best performance, stating that the country will take care of their other needs.
Addressing a gathering via video conference on the inauguration of Khelo India University Games in Cuttack, Modi said, “Odisha has seen a new chapter in history. For the first time in the history of the country, Khelo India University Games starts today. This is a historic day in India, but also a huge step in the future of sports.”
He added, “Let sportspersons concentrate on giving their best performance. The country is thinking about the rest,” listing support structures such as “lifetime pension” for “meritorious sportspersons”.
The Prime Minister said that Khelo India has become an instrument for the recognition of sportspersons. “The youth selected here are provided every year with assistance that amounts to around Rs 6.25 lakh and training in more than 100 academies. Around 3,000 sportspersons have been selected.”
He appealed to all youth “whether or not they participate in sports” to download the Khelo India mobile app and keep a track of the country’s sportspersons.
Modi stated that under the Olympic Podium Scheme, meritorious sportspersons are being trained for high-level contests. “Under this scheme, around 100 of the finest athletes in the country are currently being helped. These are the sportspersons who are expected to be part of the Tokyo Olympics…” he said.
The PM added, “From the houses of the poor, in tier 2 and tier 3 cities, children from ordinary families have done wonders and produced hope in the country. This talent could not (earlier) go forward due to lack of resources and exposure. Now, they are getting both at a young age.”
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