In the presence of the country s eminent sports personalities, Gujarat Chief Minister Vijay Rupani along with Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju inaugurated the 10th edition of in Ahmedabad on Sunday.
Along with Rupani and Rijiju, sport stars such as Mary Kom, Gagan Narang, Vishwanathan Anand, Pullela Gopichand and Deepa Malik were present at the event at Sanskardham School of Bopal area in the city.
Khel Mahakumbh is an initiative started by the then Gujarat CM, Narendra Modi, in 2010. The annual event sees a participation of over 30 lakh athletes every year. The CM said that 47 lakh students will take part in the event this year, with around 1.60 lakh students receiving awards worth Rs 40 crore.
Addressing the gathering, Rupani said government initiatives like Shaktidoot Yojana have produced results of beneficiary players from the state winning 337 gold, 208 silver and 108 bronze medals at various levels.
Rupani also shared the mantra of fitness with students. Fitness is not just a word for us and PM Modi s vision regarding Fit India is being diligently followed by people in the state. People here don t just practise Yoga for a day on World Yoga Day , but all 365 days of the year. In this direction, the state government spends Rs 40 crore to encourage and motivate 1,60,000 athletes of Gujarat, who are moving forward towards bringing more laurels to the state and the country, said Rupani.
Rijiju praised the state government for taking steps to improve its sports infrastructure and said that the industry had seen a monumental shift in the country. In the past five years, India has seen a massive change in the sports arena. Earlier, we used to participate in Olympics, Commonwealth and Asian Games and used to get 3-4 medals. But this is the new India and we are not going to be content with just a few medals; rather, we have to prove our excellence to the world, said Rijiju.
Olympic boxer Mary Kom also encouraged students at the occasion. With fitness, not only you can improve your health, but also excel in sports and make a successful career of it, said Kom.
A conference of sports ministers of various states is likely to be held in November at Gujarat s Kevadiya, the site of the Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel memorial. The Union Sports Minister also said that Rupani had agreed to his proposal, adding that participants would also be allowed to visit the world s tallest statue and learn about the culture of the state.
I have proposed to hold all-India sports ministers conference in the month of November at Kevadiya, and the Chief Minister has agreed. Not only sports, but we will also get to know about Gujarat s culture and a chance to see the world s tallest statue, he said.
(With PTI inputs)