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Youth should be encouraged to take up sports as a profession: PM

The Prime Minister’s remarks came while laying the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

Statesman News Service | New Delhi |

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said that with sporting infrastructure coming up in villages and small towns it was his resolve and dream that youths should be encouraged to “take up sports as as a profession.”

The Prime Minister’s remarks came while laying the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh.

Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister said, “In Indian history, Meerut has not just been a city but a significant center of culture and strength.” He said for sports to thrive in the country, “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.”

Modi said with the advent of sporting infrastructure in villages and small towns, there are a rising number of sportspersons from these places. “Emerging sporting eco-system with resources and new streams is creating new possibilities. This generates trust in the society that moving towards sports is the right decision,” the Prime Minister said.

Major Dhyan Chand Sports University will be established at an estimated cost of about Rs 700 crore. It will be equipped with state of the art sports infrastructure including synthetic hockey ground, football ground, basketball, volleyball , handball , kabaddi ground, lawn tennis court, gymnasium hall, synthetic running stadium, swimming pool, multipurpose hall and a cycling velodrome. The University will also house facilities for Shooting, Squash, Gymnastics, Weightlifting, Archery, Canoeing and Kayaking, among other facilities. The University will have the capacity of training 1080 sports persons including 540 female and 540 male sportspersons.

On the occasion, the Prime Minister noted the contribution of Meerut and its surrounding region in giving a new direction to independent India. The people from the region, he said, have sacrificed on the border for the defense of the nation and enhanced the country’s prestige in the playground. This region has kept the flame of patriotism alive, he emphasized.

“In Indian history, Meerut has not just been a city but a significant center of culture and strength”, the Prime Minister said. He also narrated his exhilaration on feeling the spirit of the Museum of Freedom, Amar Jawan Jyoti and temple of Baba Aughar Nath ji.

Remembering Major Dhyan Chand who was active in Meerut, Modi said a few months back, the central government had named the country’s biggest sports award after the sporting icon. The Sports University of Meerut is being dedicated to Major Dhyan Chand today, the Prime Minister said.

Modi referred to the change of ethos in the state of Uttar Pradesh where earlier criminals and mafias used to play their games. He recalled the period where illegal occupation, harassing daughters used to go scot free. He remembered the insecurity and lawlessness of earlier times. He lauded that now the Yogi government is instilling fear of law among such criminals. This change has brought confidence among the daughters of bringing laurels for the entire country, he added.

Describing youth as the cornerstone and also expansion of New India, the Prime Minister said,”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.”

The Prime Minister said that in the last few years, his government had given top priority to the Indian players to get four tools – resources, modern facilities for training, international exposure and transparency in selection. He stressed 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 said that the government had 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 is a proof of a new India’s rise in the play field. With the advent of sporting infrastructure in villages and small towns, there are a rising number of sportspersons from these towns,” the Prime Minister said.

Prime Minister Modi said 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 Sports University will play a big role in this,” he said.

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 in the sector through the emerging sports clusters.

Modi also mentioned that the double-engine government in Uttar Pradesh is establishing many universities. He listed Mahayogi Guru Gorakhnath Ayush University in Gorakhpur, Dr Rajendra Prasad Law University in Prayagraj, State Institute of Forensic Sciences in Lucknow, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh, Maa Shakumbari University in Saharanpur and Major Dhyan Chand University in Meerut. “Our goal is clear. The Youth should not only become role models but also recognize their role models,” he said.

The Prime Minister informed that under the Svamitiva scheme more than 23 lakh titles (Gharauni) have been given in 75 districts. Farmers of the state have received crores of rupees in their account under PM Kisan Samman Nidhi. Farmers of the state have also benefited by the record payment to the sugarcane farmers. Similarly, 12 thousand crore rupees worth of ethanol have been purchased from UP, Modi informed.

The Prime Minister said the role of governments is like that of a guardian. The government should encourage those with merit and should not try to justify mistakes as follies of youth, he said. He congratulated the Yogi led Uttar Pradesh government for creating a record number of Government jobs for the youth.

Thousands of youth who got training from ITI have been given employment in big companies, the Prime Minister said adding that lakhs of youth have benefited from National Apprenticeship Scheme and Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. Meerut is also becoming the hub of connectivity by Ganga expressway, Regional Rapid Rail Transit System and Metro, he said.