New Delhi: Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi laid the foundation stone of International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi today. The modern international cricket stadium will be developed in Ganjari, Rajatalab, Varanasi at a cost of about Rs 450 crores and spread across an area of more than 30 acres.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister expressed delight in getting the opportunity to visit Varanasi once again and remarked that the joy of this city is beyond words. The Prime Minister highlighted that he is visiting Kashi on a day, exactly one month after India reached the Shiv Shakti point on the moon where Chandrayaan landed on the moon on the 23rd of last month. “One place of Shiv Shakti is on the moon, while the other one is here in Kashi”, the Prime Minister remarked, as he congratulated everyone for this momentous feat.
The Prime Minister also noted the significance of the venue which is at the intersection of the route to Mata Vindhyavasini and its proximity with the village Motikot, the place from which Raj Narain ji hailed.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the design of the International stadium dedicated to Lord Mahadev has instilled a feeling of pride among the citizens of Kashi. He said that the stadium would witness great cricket matches while the young athletes would get an opportunity to train at a stadium with international standards. “This will greatly benefit the citizens of Kashi”, he added.
The Prime Minister said that through cricket, the world is getting linked with India and many new countries are playing cricket leading to a greater number of matches. He said that this international stadium will cater to the rising demand for stadiums in the coming years. The Prime Minister also thanked the BCCI for their contribution.
The Prime Minister underlined that the development of sports infrastructure of such scale not only has a positive effect on sports but also has a positive impact on the regional economy. He mentioned that such developments attract more visitors which greatly benefits sectors such as hotels, eateries, rickshaws and auto drivers as well as oarsmen in the region. He highlighted that it also has a positive effect on sports coaching and management institutions thereby paving the way for youth to venture into sports startups. He also touched upon physiotherapy courses and said that a new sports industry is expected to shape up in Varanasi in the coming days.
The Prime Minister highlighted the changing attitude towards sports among parents. “Now the mood of the nation is – Jo Khelega wo hi Khilega (one who will play will blossom)”, the Prime Minister said. The Prime Minister recounted his recent visit to Shahdol and his interaction with youth in a tribal village there and remembered the local pride for the ‘Mini Brazil’ there and their deep love for football there.
The Prime Minister also described the change in Kashi towards sports. He said that that effort is to provide world-level sports facilities to the youth of Kashi. That is why, along with this stadium 400 crore rupees are being spent on Sigra stadium where facilities are being developed for more than 50 sports. This is going to be the first multi-sports complex which will be divyang friendly. The Prime Minister emphasized that along with the new construction, old systems are being improved as well.
The Prime Minister said that the recent sporting success of India is due to a changed approach as now sports have been linked with the fitness, employment and career of the youth. Compared to 9 years ago, this year’s sports budget has been increased threefold. Khelo India’s budget got a hike of about 70 percent compared to last year. Government moves with the athletes like a team member from school to the Olympics podium”, he said. He mentioned the growing participation of girls and the TOPS scheme.
The Prime Minister highlighted the World University Games where India has created history by winning more medals in this year’s edition when compared to the total sum of all medals earned in the entirety of its participation. The Prime Minister also conveyed his best wishes to the athletes taking part in the upcoming Asian Games.
Shri Modi acknowledged the presence of sporting potential in every village, city nook and corner of the country and emphasized the need to find them and develop their skills. “Youth coming from small towns and villages have become the pride of the nation today”, Shri Modi said as he stressed creating more and more opportunities for them. He gave the example of Khelo India where local talent is identified and the Government strives to turn them into international-level athletes. Acknowledging the presence of stalwarts from the sporting fraternity on the occasion, the Prime Minister thanked them for their affection towards Kashi.
“Good coaches and good coaching are equally important to encourage and hone new talent”, the Prime Minister emphasized as he informed that athletes who have won national and international accolades are encouraged to take up the role of coaches. In the last few years, the Prime Minister said that youth have been connected with various sports and games
He said that new infrastructure will give new opportunities to the athletes from small towns and villages. He expressed happiness that the infrastructure created under Khelo India is benefitting girls.
He informed that under the new National Education Policy sports is treated as a proper subject rather than an extracurricular activity. First National Sports University was established in Manipur. In Uttar Pradesh too, he said, thousands of crore rupees are being spent for the expansion of sports infrastructure. He mentioned the expansion of a sports college in Gorakhpur and the establishment of Major Dhyan Chand University in Meerut.
“The expansion of sports infrastructure is essential for the development of a nation”, the Prime Minister emphasized as he noted its significance for the reputation of a country. He mentioned that several cities in the world are known for organizing global sporting events and stressed developing sports infrastructure in the country capable of hosting such global events. This stadium, the Prime Minister said, will be a witness to this resolution of development which will not merely be a structure of bricks and concrete but will also become a symbol of the future of India.
The Prime Minister credited the people of Kashi for all the development efforts that are going on in the city. “Nothing can be realized in Kashi without you. With your support and blessings we will keep on scripting new chapters of Kashi’s development”, the Prime Minister concluded.
Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath, President of BCCI, Shri Roger Binny, Secretary of BCCI, Vice President of BCCI, Shri Rajeev Shukla, Shri Jay Shah, Former cricket players including Sachin Tendulkar, Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Shastri, Kapil Dev, Dilip Vengsarkar, Madan Lal, Gundappa Viswanath, and Gopal Sharma, and Ministers from Uttar Pradesh Government were present on the occasion among others.
The international cricket stadium in Varanasi will be a step towards realizing the Prime Minister’s vision to develop modern world-class sports infrastructure. The modern international cricket stadium will be developed in Ganjari, Rajatalab, Varanasi at a cost of about Rs 450 crores and spread across an area of more than 30 acres. The thematic architecture of this stadium draws inspiration from Lord Shiva, with designs developed for crescent-shaped roof covers, trident-shaped lights, ghat steps-based seating, and Bilvipatra-shaped metallic sheets on the facade. The stadium will have a capacity of 30,000 spectators.