The Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi addressed the Jaipur Mahakhel via video conferencing today. He also witnessed a Kabbadi match on the occasion. Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, Lok Sabha MP from Jaipur Rural has been organising the Jaipur Mahakhel since 2017.
Addressing the gathering, the Prime Minister congratulated the players, coaches and families of those who won medals in this mega competition. He noted that the players have not graced the sports field only to participate but to win and to learn. “Victory is ensured when there is learning involved”, the Prime Minister said as he underlined that no player leaves the sports field empty-handed.
Observing the presence of many renowned faces in this competition who has taken India’s name to new heights in the field of sports, the Prime Minister named Ram Singh, Asian Games Medalist, Para-athlete Devendra Jhajharia, Dhyanchand Khel Ratna awardee, Sakshi Kumari, Arjun awardee and others senior athletes. The Prime Minister expressed delight that these renowned faces of India have come forward to support the young athletes at Jaipur Mahakhel.
The Prime Minister underlined that the series of sports competitions and khel mahakumbhs that are being organised all over the country is a reflection of the monumental changes taking place. Noting that the land of Rajasthan is known for the passion and vigour of the youth, the Prime Minister said that history is proof that the children of the land have turned battlefields into sports fields with their valour. “The youth of Rajasthan always come ahead of the rest when it comes to the security of the nation”, the Prime Minister remarked as he credited the sport’s traditions of Rajasthan for shaping the mental and physical capabilities of the youth of the region. He gave examples of traditional games like dada, sitolia, and rumal jhapatta that are organised during Makar Sankranti and have been a part of Rajasthan’s traditions for hundreds of years.
Remarking on the numerous athletes from Rajasthan that have taken the Tricolour to new heights with their sporting contributions, the Prime Minister pointed out that the people of Jaipur have elected an Olympic Medalist as their Parliamentarian. He noted the contributions of Member of Parliament, Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore and expressed delight that he is giving back to the younger generations by contributing in the form of Parliamentarian sports competitions. The Prime Minister emphasised expanding such endeavours for more comprehensive results and noted the successful organisation of Jaipur Mahakhel as the next important link towards these efforts. Highlighting the success of the Jaipur Mahakhel, the Prime Minister informed that more than 600 teams and 6,500 youths have taken part in this year’s edition of the competition. He also noted the participation of more than 125 girls’ teams which relays a pleasant message.
“In the Amrit Kaal of independence, the country is forging new definitions and creating a new order”, the Prime Minister remarked. He underlined that sports are finally being viewed from the athlete’s perspective rather than a political one. He said that nothing is impossible for the youth and every objective becomes easier when the strength of their capabilities, self-respect, self-reliance, facilities and resources is realised.
The Prime Minister said that glimpses of such an approach can be seen in this year’s Budget as well. He informed that the Sports Ministry has been allocated a budget of 2500 crores this year when compared to 800-850 crores before 2014. “The Sports Budget of the country has increased almost three times since 2014”, he said. He further informed that more than 1000 crores have been allocated to the ‘Khelo India’ campaign alone which will be spent on the development of sports facilities and resources in the country.
The Prime Minister observed that there was no lack of passion and talent for sports among the youth of India, but it was the unavailability of resources and support from the government that created hindrances. He underlined that these issues faced by the athletes are being addressed today. Giving the example of Jaipur Mahakhel which has been organised for the past 5-6 years, the Prime Minister said that Khel Mahakumbhs are being organised in every part of the country by Members of Parliament from the BJP where the talents of thousands of youth are coming to the fore.
The Prime Minister credited the central government for these successes as sports facilities are being developed at the district and local levels. Informing about the development of sports infrastructure for lakhs of youth in hundreds of districts of the country, the Prime Minister threw light on the state of Rajasthan where sports infrastructure is being developed in many cities. “Today, sports universities are being set up in the country, and big events like Khel Mahakumbh are also being organised in a professional manner”, the Prime Minister said as he drew attention to the National Sports University which has been allocated the maximum budget this year. He emphasised the need to create an environment for learning every discipline related to sports management and sports technology thereby creating an opportunity for the youth to make a career in these fields.
“Our government is attentive that no youth should be left behind due to lack of money”, the Prime Minister underlined as he informed that the central government is now supporting best performing players up to Rs 5 lakh annually. He further added that the amount given in major sports awards has also been increased up to three times. Giving examples of schemes like TOPS which allows players to prepare for the Olympics for years, the Prime Minister said that the government stands with its players with full power even in big global competitions like the Olympics.
Emphasising the need to maintain fitness not just in the sports field but also in daily life, the Prime Minister underlined that it is the most important thing for any player. He said, “You will be fit, only then you will be superhit”, as he mentioned campaigns like Khelo India and Fit India and highlighted the role of diet and nutrition in fitness. The Prime Minister informed about the United Nations celebrating the year 2023 as the International Year of Millets and noted that Rajasthan is home to a very rich tradition of millets, Sri Anna. “Rajasthan’s Shree Anna-Bajra and Shree Anna-Jwar, are the identity of this place”, the Prime Minister remarked as he recalled the bajra porridge and churma made here. He appealed to all youths to not just include Shree Anna in their diet, but also become its brand ambassador.
The Prime Minister highlighted that the country is working for the all-round development of the youth and remarked that today’s youth does not want to remain confined to just one field due to their multi-talented and multidimensional capabilities. The Prime Minister informed that on the one hand, modern sports infrastructure is being developed, while a National Digital Library for children and youth has also been proposed in this budget where books on every subject like science, Sanskrit and history will be available at every level from city to village.
“Sports is not just a genre, but an industry”, the Prime Minister remarked as he pointed out the large number of people that are getting employment through MSMEs that are making things and resources related to sports. He informed about the many important announcements that have been made in the budget to strengthen the MSMEs related to the sports sector. He gave the example of PM Vishwakarma Kaushal Samman i.e. PM Vikas Yojana which will be of great help to people with manual skills and hand tools. He underlined that new employment opportunities will be created for our youth with the help of the financial support given to them by PM Vishwakarma Yojana thereby creating new markets for them.
Concluding the address, the Prime Minister remarked “When efforts are made wholeheartedly, results are assured.” He highlighted the efforts made by the country during the Tokyo Olympics and Commonwealth Games and said that the results are for everyone to see. He also underlined that the efforts made during the Jaipur Mahakhel will bear wonderful results in future. “The next gold and silver medalists for the country will emerge from among you. If you are determined, you will increase the glory of the Tricolour even in the Olympics. Wherever you go, you will bring laurels to the country. I am sure, our youth will take the country’s success far ahead”, the Prime Minister concluded.
Lok Sabha MP from Jaipur Rural, Shri Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore was present on the occasion among others.
The Mahakhel, focussing on Kabaddi competition this year, started on National Youth Day i.e. 12th January 2023. It has witnessed the participation of more than 6400 youths and sports persons from more than 450 gram panchayats, municipalities and wards of all 8 legislative assembly regions of Jaipur Rural Lok Sabha constituency. The organisation of Mahkhel provides an opportunity for the youth of Jaipur to showcase their sporting talent and also motivates them to take up sports as a career option.