New Delhi : The Vice President, M. Venkaiah Naidu today praised the grit and determination of Indian Paralympians and said that they, through their stellar performances at Tokyo games, brought cheer and hope to the entire nation in these otherwise troubled times.
Addressing a gathering during a felicitation ceremony for Tokyo Paralympians in Gurugram today, the Vice President lauded Indian sportspersons for winning the highest ever tally of medals even though the Tokyo Paralympics were held in rather extraordinary conditions due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recognising that these achievements were not easy, he said that the entire nation is proud of its Paralympic athletes. “You have overcome several obstacles, demolished stereotypes and have triumphed over social attitudes that looked down upon sports,” he said to the sportspersons adding that their accomplishments despite such adverse conditions are an inspiration to every Indian.
Emphasising the need to create a sporting culture in the country, the Vice President called for making sports an attractive and viable career option for the youth. He complimented the Haryana government for taking several policy initiatives in this regard.
Taking cognisance of the general lack of sporting facilities for specially-abled sportspersons at local level, Shri Naidu called for creation of necessary facilities for them. He also emphasised the need to identify and encourage specially-abled sportspersons at local level.
Talking about many benefits of sports, the Vice President said that it keeps one physically fit, inculcates discipline and team-spirit, apart from kindling the desire to excel through healthy competition. Referring to the increasing number of lifestyle diseases such as diabetes and hypertension, Shri Naidu said these conditions weaken an individual’s immune system making him more susceptible to infection by coronavirus. “Therefore, healthy food and games should be part of our daily lifestyle,” he emphasised.
Praising the government of Haryana for supporting and promoting the sportspersons in a big way in the state, the Vice President said that this example would also inspire other states for the same. Urging the youth to focus on their physical fitness, he underlined the importance of eating properly cooked traditional food and living in harmony with nature. Highlighting the importance of proper ventilation and sunlight inside our homes and offices, Shri Naidu called for paying equal attention to aesthetics and comfort while designing the living spaces.
The Chief Minister of Haryana, Manohar Lal, Sports Minister of Haryana, Sandeep Singh, Principal Secretary, Sports, Haryana, AK Singh, Director Sports, Pankaj Nain, Olympians and Paralympians from the state were among those present on the occasion.