During his latest Mann ki Baat broadcast on All India Radio (AIR), Prime Minister Narendra Modi also shared his views on the Khelo India Games. After the completion of the latest edition of these games, a new event - Khelo India University Games - is now in progress. The Indian PM said that these games will bring more talented youngsters into the sport.

"Khelo India Games have played an integral role in increasing the attraction and participation of youth player in sports," the PM asserted. Yesterday, he had inaugurated the University Games in Cuttack through a video link in a ceremony which was attended by the Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

In the gala event that took place at the Jawahar Lal Nehru Indoor Stadium, a cheerful crowd saw PM Modi talk about the thinking and value behind this initiative of the government. "This isn't just a beginning of a tournament, but more than that. Khelo India Games have played an integral role in increasing the attraction and participation of youth players in sports."

Prime Minister Narendra Modi
PM Narendra Modi addressing radio programme Mann Ki Baat (File photo)

Khelo India Games began taking place in 2018 and is one of the ways through which the Union Government is trying to unearth greater talent in the country. Since their beginning, the games have provided a solid platform for young schoolkids to show their skills on a bigger stage and catch the attention of various talent hunters.

The PM emphasized this aspect of the multi-discipline event. "The Khelo India program has played a vital role in attracting and identifying young sporting talents from across the country. The Khelo India initiative has improved the level of sports and sportsperson in the country. It has improved the sporting infrastructure in the country."

PM Modi
PM Modi inaugurating Khelo India University Games through video linkTwitter/Ministry of Sports

What is also notable is the great support that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has been providing to sports, especially hockey. In fact, the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneshwar has become the most throbbing center of hockey in the world. It has hosted tournaments like World League Finals, the 2018 World Cup, and is currently hosting matches of the FIH Pro League.

There seems to be a good synergy between the central government and the state government of Odisha in working to create a spors-friendly environment. This commitment to makings sports an integral part of the lifestyle of Indian people also dovetails nicely with the Fit India initiative that was also launched by the PM some time ago and discussed in his Mann ki Baat broadcast.

The PM also said in his latest address on AIR: "Nation that is fit, will be a nation that is hit." With the season of Olympics fast approaching, the crescendo towards a wider discussion about India's sporting culture will build up nicely.