Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Monday stressed the need for the Centre and states to come together for the promotion of games and sports in the country, by sharing ideas and strategies on developing the sector.
Anurag Singh Thakur was addressing the gathering at the inaugural session of the Chintan Shivir of Ministers of Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS) states/UTs organised at the City Convention Centre, Imphal. The Chintan Shivir will continue till tuesday.
He expressed thankfulness to chief minister N Biren Singh for the warm welcome and beautiful arrangement made for the Chintan Shivir.
Stating that this year’s conference is the third Chintan Shivir of YAS Ministers, he said that youths are the largest stakeholder of the Country and have an important role in nation building. He further stressed the necessity of organizing such conferences in every state to develop the sports sector from the grassroot level.
Anurag Singh Thakur expressed that Manipur had contributed a lot in the field of sports, despite its small population compared to other larger states. Acknowledging the contribution, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had sanctioned for developing the first National Sports University in the State and an approximate amount of Rs. 900 crores will be spent for developing the University, he added.
He also spoke on the popularity of indigenous games of Manipur, adding that the Central government had also adopted many indigenous games in the Khelo India Programme. He further mentioned the importance of promoting and pushing our traditional games on the international level.
He spoke on the achievements of sportspersons of the state, mentioning the names of sports personalities who had brought laurels for the country in national and international sporting events. He also mentioned the contribution of different states in different disciplines of sports, adding that women players had brought much achievement for the country.
Concluding his speech, he suggested the participating sports ministers of different states and union territories to share their experience and showcase what initiatives they had taken up to develop sports infrastructure in their respective states. He also asked them to learn from the experiences of one another and stressed the need to work together to make India a sports superpower.
On the occasion, N Biren Singh extended a warm welcome to all the participants of the National Conference of Ministers of Youth Affairs and Sports of States and Union Territories, adding that the State was honoured to host such an event. He observed that holding such a conference in Imphal also recognizes and highlights the significant contributions made by Manipuri sportspersons and youth towards nation building.
He continued that the state has a proud and vibrant sporting history and culture, adding that sportspersons from Manipur have brought laurels to India, in various disciplines of sports and produced numerous medalists, including 19 Olympians, despite its small population.
He expressed confidence that the deliberations in the National Conference would help shape a framework for State Governments and stakeholders towards charting a trajectory for the country towards growth and development of youth and sports. Under pioneering initiatives like Khelo India, the Government continues to create the ideal environment for sports to thrive in India. “As we mark 5 Years of Khelo India, the scheme has proved to be a catalyst in turning India into a sporting nation, giving a platform to grassroot athletes and building sports infrastructure across the country,” he added.
He expressed gratitude that the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India approved the opening of 32 Khelo India Centres across 16 districts of the State. Khelo India State Centre of Excellence in three sports disciplines of Archery, Hockey and Weightlifting would also start very soon, he said. He also informed that completion of National Sports University (NSU) is also underway and added that the University would play an important role in shaping the future of Sports in India. He also maintained that the State Government is extending every possible support to promote sports culture and sportspersons in the state.
He further informed that upgradation of KhumanLampak Sports Complex through PPP model and as External Aided Projects are also underway. Integration of Sports Science, Use of Artificial Intelligence and video analysis in the training of young budding athletes in collaboration with private partners will help in developing sports in the state.
He expressed confidence that under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, India would harness our vast sporting talent effectively and would emerge as a great sporting nation.
At the beginning of the programme, a short video message of Prime Minister Narendra Modi was telecasted, in which the Prime Minister spoke on the contribution of Northeast states especially Manipur in the field of sports and the importance of the conference.
Governor of Punjab and Administrator of Union Territory of Chandigarh Banwarilal Purohit, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports (YAS), Government of India Nisith Pramanik, YAS Minister of different States and Union Territories, Secretary (Sports) and Secretary (Youth Affairs), Chief Secretary, Manipur and senior officials of Government of India and various State Governments also attended the inaugural programme among others.
The Chintan Shivir will have sessions on various topics including Yuva Portal, Restructuring the National Youth Festival, Overview of Khelo India and other Schemes of Government of India, Innovation in Sport Sector, Issue and Challenges in Sports Governance and Improving engagement among stakeholders in sports sector.