New Delhi: Lauding the performances of Indian sportspersons in the Asian Para Games and Summer Youth Olympics, Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Sunday said the country was setting new records not just in the field of sports but also in “uncharted areas”.
Addressing the 49th episode of his monthly radio programme “Mann Ki Baat”, the Prime Minister stressed on the “4S” — spirit, strength, skill and stamina — as key elements in the field of sports as core foundation of the nation.
“If the youth of a country possess these qualities, that country will progress not only in areas such as economy, science and technology but also bring laurels home in the field of sports,” Modi said.
He congratulated the athletes who participated in the Asian Para Games 2018 held at Jakarta and the winners of the Summer youth Olympics 2018 held in Argentina, saying: “The Para athletes bagged a tally of 72 medals, creating a new, unprecedented record, bringing glory to the nation”.
In the Summer Youth Olympics 2018, Modi said the performance of our youth was the “best ever”. “You may recall that even, in the recent Asian Games, India’s performance was par excellence… This is the real story of Indian sports which are witnessing an upswing with each passing day. India is setting new records not just in the field of sports but also in hitherto uncharted areas.”
Mentioning about Para athlete Narayan Thakur, who won a gold medal, the Prime Minister said Thakur who was a Divyang by birth, had lost his father when he was a child and had spent some eight years in an orphanage, cleaned DTC buses for a living and also worked as a waiter at roadside eateries.
“The same Narayan is now winning medals for India at international events,” Modi added. Observing the rapidly enhancing levels of excellence in Indian sports, the Prime Minister said India had never won a medal in a judo event, at the junior or senior level, but Tabaabi Devi created history by bagging the silver medal at the Youth Olympics despite the 16-year-old Manipuri player’s father being a labourer and mother, a fish-seller.
Modi said stories like these were innumerable. “Every life, every being is a source of inspiration. Every young sportsperson’s passion and dedication is the hallmark of New India.”
Recalling the FIFA Under-17 World Cup in 2017, Modi said “we had successfully organised the event” and it was highly acclaimed because it created a record in terms of the number of viewers on the ground.
“This year also, we have been fortunate to be the hosts of the Men’s Hockey World Cup 2018 in Bhubaneshwar,” said Modi, adding the event will commence on November 28 to be concluded on the December 16. Remembering hockey legends Major Dhyan Chand, Balbeer Singh Senior, Leslie Claudius, Mohammad Shahid, Udham Singh to Dhan Raj Pillai, the Prime Minister appealed citizens to visit Bhubaneshwar and cheer the Indian team.