Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur opened the “Khelo India Dus ka Dum” tournament as part of International Women’s Day celebrations at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, New Delhi on Friday.
The tournament, with the tagline of ‘Hai dum to badhao kadam’, was commenced simultaneously in over 50 cities of 26 states of the country today with a mega opening ceremony held at JLN stadium.
Speaking at the inauguration, Thakur termed the tournament a major step towards women’s empowerment.
“Hai dum to Badhao kadam is the tagline of the Khelo India Dus ka Dum event and it is another major step we have taken to empower women through sports,” he said.
He also mentioned that the tournament has provided opportunities for women athletes to get the exposure and empowerment they needed.
“SAI’s endeavor to organize Women’s Leagues across 14 sports all over the country for many months has given the opportunity to strong women athletes to get the exposure and empowerment they need. I am happy to state that these leagues have found profound success,” he said.
Citing examples of Mary Kom and PV Sindhu, Thakur said, “From Mary Kom to Lovlina to Nikhat and PV Sindhu to Saina Nehwal, these girls have given their all to bring glory to India time and again. Now tournaments like these will give rise to more such superstars. We are doing everything to provide the best of tournaments and playfields, now it’s time for all the women to show their mettle.”
Thakur flagged off the event alongside the eight-year-old track and field athlete Sakshi, the youngest participant in the event.
Director General of SAI, Sandip Pradhan along with other dignitaries from the Union Sports Ministry and SAI were present at the inaugural.
The tournament will see the participation of over 15,000 athletes in ten sports from March 10 to 31. As per the official reports, a total of one crore has been sanctioned by the central government for this event.