Baramulla, Feb 10: Union Minister Anurag Thakur on Friday said that the Kashmir Valley that was earlier known for stone pelting incidents is now famous for Football and other sports activities.
Addressing a gathering at the inaugural function of Khelo India Winter Games at Gulmarg, Thakur, said the youth who were holding stones in their hands are now indulging in sports activities, thereby making the nation proud.
While appreciating the role of the Jammu and Kashmir government, he said the government made it possible to change the Kashmir situation in just 3 years, which earlier could not be done in 75 years.
“It is really a proud movement for all of us that Jammu and Kashmir is hosting the Khelo India Games for the third time, which other states failed to”, he said.
He said that they will soon have a number of star athletes, as the youth are highly involved in games, be it Football, Wushu, Cricket, Skiing or other sports activities.
The Union Minister assured full support and cooperation in developing the Center of Excellence for Winter Games in the UT. “It is the vision of our Prime Minister Narendra Modi to create sporting infrastructure across India. The setting up of a National Centre of Excellence in the valley will support the athletes of J&K,” he said.
“Jammu and Kashmir’s every district is now having an indoor stadium and every village a play field, which itself speaks how the situation has taken a U-turn,” he said. “More than 1500 Athletes from all over the country will compete in 11 different winter-sports disciplines in the five day mega sporting event.”
Speaking on the occasion, Jammu and Kashmir Lieutenant Governor Manoj Sinha said Gulmarg is going to be the Centre of Excellence for the winter sports and efforts are on and soon “we will achieve the mission”
Addressing the gathering during the inaugural ceremony of 3rd edition of Khelo India Winter Games at Gulmarg, LG Sinha said that every effort is being made to bring the skills of J&K youth who are affiliated with the sports on a display as Gulmarg will soon be the Center of Excellence for the winter games.
While congratulating the organizers for making efforts in conducting the mega event, the LG said that it is a proud movement for the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. “I convey my greetings to each member including the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, High Altitude Warfare School Jawahar Institute of mountaineering, J&K Sport’s council and those associated with the event,” he said.
He said Gulmarg will celebrate the sporting excellence on snow covered slopes and will witness the contests of skill, courage and character of the athletes in as many as 11 disciplines. “We transform the sports tournament into really spectacular event at Gulmarg.”
He said that the second Khelo India was a huge success and today on the 3rd National winter Games event, the whole country is united, and the next five days are going to be a great occasion to strive for the greatest victory to uphold sportsmanship, equality, friendship and respect for the competitors.
“Sports is such a medium which can change everything and it will not change the athletes’ behaviour but can change the whole scenario of the world. Just after three months we are going to hold the G20 meeting in Jammu and Kashmir,” he said.
He also said Jammu and Kashmir tops the sports infrastructure in the whole country as “we have stadiums and play fields in every village.” “Our country was deprived of the soft power of sports from last 60 years but fortunately, the efforts of PM Modi paved the way and we are now at the stage of holding the mega sports events. PM Modi gave youth a Naya Asmaan and Naya Pankh,” he said.
The LG said that for the last 8-9 years the country has produced a number of sports heroes and it’s all because of PM Modi. “Sports can give a new birth to sustainable development and the Sports ministry left no stone unturned to make Jammu and Kashmir a Sports centre of the country.”
The LG said J&K Sports Council is doing its best to promote the sports and have covered almost every district and every village.
“The budget for Jammu and Kashmir’s sports sector is higher as compared to other states of the country. Maharashtra is known for the highest budget for education and youth sports and if we combine both we are just 48 crores away from that highest budgeting state,” the LG said.
The athletes are the role models for the youth across the country, we are looking for the young people to bring an honor to sports field and the country, he said.
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