Chennai (Tamil Nadu): Prime Minister Narendra Modi inaugurated the sixth Khelo India Youth Games at Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Friday.
PM Modi also laid the foundation stone for broadcasting sector projects worth approximately Rs 250 crore. The logo of DD Tamil was also launched during the event.
Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin and Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur were also present on the occasion. During his address at the inauguration ceremony, PM Modi said: “I extend my best wishes to all the athletes and sports lovers who have come to Chennai from across the country. Together, you are showcasing the true spirit of ‘Ek Bharat Shreshtha Bharat’. The warm people of Tamil Nadu, the beautiful Tamil language, culture and cuisine will surely make you feel at home.”
“Khelo India Games, Youth Games, Khelo India University Games, Khelo India Winter Games and Khelo India Para Games are giving you an opportunity to play and also bring forward new talent…I am happy that the mascot for the Khelo India Youth Games is Velu Nachiyar,” the Prime Minister said.
The broadcasting sector projects for which the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone includes the launch of the revamped DD Podhigai channel as DD Tamil; 12 Akashvani FM projects in eight States and 4 DD transmitters in Jammu and Kashmir.
In addition, the Prime Minister laid the foundation stone for 26 new FM transmitter projects in 12 states. The Khelo India Youth Games 2023 scheduled between January 19-31 will have competitions held across four cities- Chennai, Trichy, Madurai and Coimbatore.
This is a first for South India as well as for Tamil Nadu when it comes to the Khelo India Youth Games. First envisaged as the Khelo India School Games back in 2018, the Games have grown in magnitude and have been renamed as the Khelo India Youth Games. This edition of the Games will see the participation of over 5,500 athletes from across all the Indian states and Union Territories, as per a press release from Khelo India Youth Games Tamil Nadu.
During his address at the opening ceremony, Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin said, “I welcome our Honorable Prime Minister for the launch of Khelo India Youth Games 2023…This is a dream come true moment as Tamil Nadu is hosting the 6th edition of Khelo India Youth Games 2023. Khelo India symbolizes a spirit of sportsmanship, determination and unity.”
Meanwhile, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur in his address said, “The Khelo India scheme was launched seven years ago as a brainchild of our honourable Prime Minister with a vision to boost a strong sporting culture at the grassroots level and to build a framework for all sports played in our country. It’s establishing India as a great sporting nation. Khelo India has been so successful that 41 medals won in the Asian Games 2023 were because of Khelo India Games and the Khelo India program.”
Mascots for major multi-discipline games are normally designed around national animals or birds. But Tamil Nadu is the first state to showcase its rich traditional history and is looking to educate the younger generation about the bravery of legendary freedom fighter Rani Velu Nachiyar, who is also referred to as ‘Veera Mangai’ (the brave woman).
Tamil Nadu will be the first state in the last three editions to be able to host all the sports disciplines, including cycling, which will be conducted at the state-of-the-art velodrome at the Tamil Nadu Physical Education and Sports University (TNPESU) in Melakottaiyur. Shooting events will be held in Velachery and Alamadi, where the finest budding shooters from the state as well as the country will be aiming for the bull’s eye. (ANI)