New Delhi : Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur and Minister of State, Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports Nisith Pramanik and Olympic legends cheered for India at the Olympic Opening Ceremony screening event organized by SAI, M/o Youth Affairs and Sports at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium today.
Ministers of State for Railways, Rao Saheb Patil Danve and Darshana Jardosh; four time Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt, India’s first female Olympic medalist Ms. Karnam Malleswari; pugilist Akhil Kumar and Secretary (Sports), Ravi Mittal joined the event to motivate the Indian athletes as part of the #Cheer4India campaign envisioned by Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi.
Several dignitaries and athletes joined the programme virtually from different parts of the country in this effort to motivate the Indian contingent. Minister of Sports, Madhya Pradesh Mrs. Yashodhara Raje Scindia; hockey Olympian and Minister of Sports in Haryana Sh Sandeep Singh (Haryana) and Minister of Sports in Odisha, Sh Tushar Kanti Behera were among those who joined from various parts of the country to support the Indian contingent.
Speaking on the occasion , Anurag Thakur said that India’s road to Tokyo Olympics has been a journey filled with tests and triumphs, both for athletes and organisers, in so many ways, quite like the Olympic games themselves!
Thakur further said that we have put sportspersons and their interests at the centre of policy planning with a forward looking vision. In the last seven years we have revamped and expanded India’s sports infrastructure. Today talent emerging from small towns is being noticed and nurtured, because they are receiving best facilities and professional training to compete at the highest level. We’ve also brought a fresh outlook towards building a sports culture in the country. Thakur added that under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, over the past few years, the groundwork has been done to ensure India becomes a sporting powerhouse.
Thakur further said the wishes of 130 crore Indians will inspire the 127 Olympic athletes who will showcase their best on the grandest stage in sports. It is a moment of great pride as we cheer for the Indian contingent in the Olympic Games in Tokyo today.
MoS Nisith Pramanik said that the Eastern part of the country has also contributed outstanding sportspersons like Mary Kom and Hima Das among others may it be from Orissa, or Bengal or Manipur.
During the conversation, fourtime Olympian Yogeshwar Dutt said that the yearning for medals being seen in sportspersons will make India win. Remembering her win in Olympics in 2002 India’s first female medalist Ms. Karnam Malleswari said it brought tears to her eyes when then Prime Minister called her “Daughter Of India”. Former Indian Badminton Player Pullela Gopichand said that for me the sporting ecosystem and development of sports in the country is what really pushes me, I have seen a distinct transformation in sports and support from the people.
MoS of Railway Ministry Darshana Jardosh highlighted the fact that out of 25 representatives from Railways 21 are women and said she is confident of India winning medals. MoS of Railways Ministry Raosaheb Danve said that Indian Railways have good coaches for the training of the athletes. We are working to develop Railways’ Centres of Excellence for Sports in the near future, which will provide world-class training and other facilities to the players, the Minister added. Haryana Sports Minister Shri Sandeep Singh said that a large number of athletes representing India at the Tokyo Olympics are from the state of Haryana and hoped they will bring laurels to their country by winning medals. The Minister of Sports,, MP, Ms. Yashodhararaje Scindia said that if we provide our athletes the right training, facilities and coaching , the chances of their winning medals become very bright.
During his interaction with Sony Studio, Shri Anurag Thakur said that we are trying to focus on development of sports by creating infrastructure and organising sporting events like Khelo India Youth Games, Khelo India University Games and Khelo India School Games. We will try to hold big sporting events in the country. Another focus would be producing good quality coaches. And finally giving employment opportunities to athletes would encourage them to adopt sports as a career.
Later the dignitaries viewed the live screening of the Olympic Opening Ceremony at the venue of the event accompanied by loud cheers for the Indian contingent as it marched across the National Stadium in Tokyo.
India will be sending their largest ever contingent of 127 athletes in 18 disciplines at these Olympics which also includes the highest female representation of 56 athletes.