Govt to start 1,000 Khelo India centres to employ retired sportspersons: Rijiju

at 7:02 pm

New Delhi (NVI): Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju today said that the government will start 1,000 Khelo India small centres across the country that will help retired sportspersons get employment or some role in shaping the sports culture of the country.

Speaking at the 10th Global Sports Summit, TURF 2020, organized by FICCI, Rijiju said, “The government has made various policy changes and taken up initiatives to encourage and support sportspersons and the sporting community even after they retire.”

“When a sportsperson suffers, it discourages generations. The government is also ensuring that the prize money, financial support from the government reaches the athletes and the designated beneficiaries uninterrupted,” he said.

The minister emphasised on the importance of making citizens pro-sports and pro-fitness.

“We must make citizens pro-sports and pro-fitness; we cannot talk about a prosperous India with citizens being unfit. We cannot talk about a sporting culture without first creating success in the sporting arena,” Rijiju said.

He urged the industry, business, and corporate houses to come together with the government in helping create a sporting obsessive society. “There is no lack in terms of government support, but we are not a sporting country. The government’s efforts alone are never enough. It is the people’s efforts, people’s participation that will define the success of sports,” he added.

“Even if two per cent of India’s population watches one sport, whether in stadiums or on the television, it will make the game popular and will bring in the money for its development. We must ensure that sport becomes a big industry in India. It can be a huge contributor to the country’s economy,” he emphasized.

Furthermore, the minister said that the Khelo India and the Fit India movements are going on strongly. “Even during the pandemic, we didn’t stop activities. Mechanisms using digital technologies were created in aiding athletes acquire knowledge and continue with their training. I have set a target of putting India in the top-10 medal grossing nations in the Los Angeles 2028 Olympics. To this effort, we have initiated various policy changes.”

Addressing the event, PV Sindhu, Olympic Medallist- Badminton, said that it is high time that we go on and formulate pathways for our youngsters so that they are able to continue following their dreams and can have the support of their parents as well.

The event was also attended by Madhya Pradesh sports minister Yoshodhara Raje Scindia, Australian Olympic Committee CEO Matt Carrol and FICCI president Dr Sangita Reddy, among others.