Indian badminton's poster girl PV Sindhu has heaped praise on Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his government's efforts in supporting sports in the country. The shuttler was addressing the media in Hyderabad shortly after arriving from Glasgow on Tuesday, August 29.
Notably, Sindhu won her third World Championships medal, a silver this time at the 2017 meet after finishing second best in a pulsating 110-minute-long gold medal match against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan. Saina Nehwal also ended up with a bronze medal after reaching the semi-finals.
Sindhu, while speaking on the occasion of National Sports Day -- celebrated on August 29 every year to mark the birth anniversary of hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand, said it is a great feeling to have a Prime Minister, who is ready to do anything for the betterment of sports in the country.
"We have been getting very good support from the government. Not just women, sportspersons [across disciplines] are getting good attention. For us [badminton], if we need something in the academy or additional facilities, we can approach them [the government]," Sindhu said.
She added: "After Rio Olympics, we [the Olympic contingent] met Modi ji. He immediately asked us if we wanted something. It is really great that he is ready to do anything for us."
Historic double at World Championships
National badminton chief coach Pullela Gopichand, who was accompanying Sindhu at Hyderabad, was elated to point out that India returned home from Glasgow on the National Sports Day with two medals. The former All England Championships winner also lauded the government for its efforts to focus on the development of sport in the country.
"We have the highest offices in the country talking about sport in a big way. We have never had somebody at the Prime MInister's office discuss sports successively over so many months, Gopichand said, referring to PM Modi's focus on sports during his monthly radio programme - Mann Ki Baat.
He added: "A lot has been spoken, a lot has been done, a lot more needs to be done. It's not only about winning, it's about the sports culture of the nation. That's what the sports day should bring out. Because the whole world is competing hard, we need to put our best foot forward."
'National Sports Talent Search Portal, a great initiative'
Gopichand also had praised the government's new initiative -- National Sports Talent Search Portal, which was launched on Monday, August 28. According to the government, the recently-launched portal will help to identify the best talent across the length and breadth of the country.
Under the initiative, a child or his parents, teachers or coaches can upload his bio data or video on the portal. The Sports ministry will select talented players and impart training to them at Sports Authority India centres, Press Trust of India reported.
"It's a great initiative. I think, today, technology helps us identify talent even from the remotest place of the country. The ability to be seen at the national level is what this portal is meant for," Gopichand opined.