On the occasion of National Sports Day, Governor Bandaru Dattatraya interacted with eminent sportspersons of the state through a virtual platform. While congratulating them on this day, Shri Dattatraya said that the importance of sports was vital in improving our physical and mental health. He suggested them not to give up the practice even during this pandemic period. He said that the player never loses nor should this feeling come in him only then he can achieve the goal.
The governor expressed happiness that the small hill state like Himachal has several achievements in his name like three Padma Shri awards, one Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, eight Arjuna Awards and 37 Parashurama Awards etc. which was a matter of pride for us. He congratulated all the players for these achievements.
The Governor said that there was a big scope of development in the field of sports and Prime Minister Narendra Modi was ideal for all youth as he himself had been associated with sports organizations and practices yoga regularly. In order to increase interest in sports among the youth and encourage them towards sports, the Fit India Movement was launched, in which Prime Minister said that ‘New India’ should be ‘Fit India’, he added. He said that ‘Khelo India’ program was also started so that India could be recognized as a sports superpower in the world in the coming years. Both these programs were designed in such a way to connect the youth of the country with sports, in which all the youth should come forward and show their abilities, said Dattatraya.
He said that sports activities were no longer limited to the sports sector, but also proving to be an engine of economic development of the country and the state. Today, sports were part of the multi-billion rupees industry and businesses, which affect the economy, he added. He said that sports tourism was being established as a new industry today, with millions of people reaching out to watch big sports events, providing employment to the local people and strengthening the economy.
The Governor had a telephonic conversation with international badminton player Saina Naywal on this occasion and the Governor sought help from her to cooperate in further promoting badminton game in Himachal Pradesh.
Rakesh Pathania, Forest and youth, Services and Sports Minister thanked the Governor to grace the occasion and said that recently he had meeting with Union sports minister Kiran Rijiju regarding liberal financial help to the State. He added that the Union Minister has assured him to help the State in all respect of sports infrastructure development.
Rakesh Pathania said that the State Government would set up 10 more new indoor stadiums and also planned to double the present sports setup. He said that the State Government was bringing out Sports policy soon as the Government understand the sentiments and feelings of every sportsperson. He said that the state government has constructed five indoor stadiums, 6 outdoor stadiums, three 400-meter synthetic athletic tracks, a hockey AstroTurf field, multi gyms at eight district headquarters and two sports hostels in recent years. He said that for the purpose of promotion of sportspersons in Himachal Pradesh, reservation of 3 per cent in government jobs, arrangement of cash prizes at national and international level and special grants were being given to Sports Associations. On the request of sportsperson from Shimla through on-line interaction, the Minister assured them that possibilities would be explored and efforts will be made to develop two more sports complexes here.
Earlier, Ajay Sharma, Secretary, YSS welcomed the Governor and detailed about various initiatives taken by the department for the promotion of sports in the state.
Hemraj Bairwa, Director, YSS also briefed about the facilities and infrastructure provided to the sportspersons in the State. He also apprised the Governor about Sports Day awareness campaign being carried under the guidelines of COVID-19.
Rakesh Kanwar, Secretary to the Governor was also present on the occasion. Other senior officers of the department of YSS were linked with the video conference.