I wish our youth to see sports like other professions: Modi
New Delhi, January 2, 2022
Indian sports received a major boost on Sunday with Prime Minister Narendra Modi laying the foundation stone of the Major Dhyan Chand Sports University at Meerut in Uttar Pradesh.
The university, expected to cost Rs 700 crore, will be equipped with modern and state-of-the-art sports infrastructure, including synthetic hockey ground, football ground, basketball, volleyball, handball and kabaddi ground, lawn tennis court, gymnasium hall, synthetic running stadium, swimming pool, multi-purpose hall and a cycling velodrome.
The university will also house facilities for shooting, squash, gymnastics, weightlifting, archery, canoeing and kayaking, among other facilities. It will have capacity for training 1080 sportspersons (540 women and an equal number of men).
Addressing the gathering on the occasion, the Prime Minister said that, for sports in the country to thrive, it is necessary that the youth should have faith in sports and should be encouraged to take up sports as a profession.
“This is my resolve, and my dream too! I wish our youth to see sports like other professions,” he said.
Modi recalled the contribution of hockey wizard Major Dhyan Chand to Indian sports and said that, a few months back, the central government had named the country's biggest sports award after the sporting icon.
He said youth is the cornerstone and also expansion of New India. "Youth is the shaper and also the leader of New India. Our youth today have the heritage of antiquity and also have a sense of modernity. And so, where the youth will go, India will also move. And the world is going to go where India goes," he said.
The Prime Minister said that, in the last few years, his government has given top priority to providing players with resources, modern facilities for training, international exposure and transparency in selection.
He asserted that the government has linked sports with employment. Schemes like Target Olympics Podium (TOPS) are providing all support to top sportspersons to compete at the highest level. Khelo India Abhiyan is recognizing talent very early and all support is being given to groom them for international level.
India’s recent performance in Olympics and Para-Olympics, said the Prime Minister, is proof of a new India’s rise in the play field. With the advent of sporting infrastructure in villages and small towns, there is a rising number of sportspersons from these towns.
He said that, in the new National Education Policy, priority has been given to sports. Sports have now been kept in the same category as science, commerce or other studies. Earlier sports were considered as extra-curricular activities, but now sports schools will have it as a proper subject.
Modi said that the sporting eco-system comprising sports, sports management, sports writing, sports psychology etc, creates new possibilities.
He said this generates trust in the society that moving towards sports is the right decision. With resources, a sporting culture takes shape and the Sports University will play a big role in this, he added.
Talking about the sporting culture of Meerut, the Prime Minister pointed out that the city exports sporting goods to more than 100 countries. This way, Meerut is not only vocal for local but also turning local into global, the Prime Minister said, emphasizing the need for making the country "aatmnirbhar" (self-reliance) in the sector through the emerging sports clusters.
“Our goal is clear. The youth should not only become role models but also recognize their role models,” the Prime Minister added.