Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur informed the Lok Sabha on Friday that the government has started opening 1,000 Khelo India Centers in the country. He said 733 of the 1,000 centres have already become functional. Next year, by August 15, 2023, the work on remaining centres will be completed.
Responding to a query in the lower house, Thakur said that two types of programmes were started in Khelo India – one Khelo India Youth Games and the other, Khelo India University Games. More than 27,000 players participated in it. In these games, 12 national records were broken, out of which 11 records were broken by the daughters of India.
Anurag Thakur said along with promoting sports in the country, the Modi government is committed to providing all kinds of facilities to the players and strengthening the sports infrastructure.
Responding to a long discussion in the Lok Sabha under Rule 193 on the need to promote sports in India and the steps taken by the government, the Union Minister said that after Narendra Modi became the Prime Minister in 2014, there has been continuous patronage to sports and sportspersons.
He said allocation of funds for sports has been increased and sports facilities have expanded. The Prime Minister took care of the players at a personal level. The result of this is reflected in the impressive performance of our country in various international competitions.
He said that arrangements are also being made to provide international-level training to the talented players of the country. Even the players are given pocket money annually. Every year, 2,300 sportspersons are given Rs 6 lakh in the country.
He said that 1,000 centres are being set up in the country under the Khelo India scheme. By August next year, all Khelo India centres will be ready.
Thakur said that the Central government had appointed sports coaches besides developing infrastructure in sports. This proves that the intention of the Central Government is to promote sports in the country. This year, 398 coaches have been appointed in 21 sports disciplines.
He pointed out that in the 16 years before his government, Rs 86 crore was spent as assistance to the sportspersons while in the last eight years, Rs 300 crore was spent.