Prime Minister Narendra Modi today asserted that the Government has transformed the approach from ‘athletes for the government’ to ‘government for the athletes’ and it is removing obstacles and creating new opportunities for them. While crediting the sensitivity of the Government towards the success of athletes, he emphasised that when the Government recognises the dreams and struggles of the athletes, its impact can be witnessed in its policies, approach, and thinking.
Mr. Modi stated this while addressing India’s Asian Para Games contingent at Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium in New Delhi. The Prime Minister lamented the lack of policies, infrastructure, coaching facilities, and monetary assistance for the athletes by the previous governments and said that it had become a huge hurdle in attaining success. He added that the nation has grown out of the old system and approach and four to five crore rupees are being spent on various athletes today. Saying that performance gets a boost when potential finds the needed platform, he mentioned the Khelo India Scheme which catapulted the athletes to success by identifying them on the grassroots levels and nurturing their talent.
Recognising the special nature of the Para Games, Prime Minister Modi said that a sports victory by a Divyang is not a matter of inspiration in Sports only but it is a matter of inspiration in life itself. He also said Para Athletes performance can re-energise any person, however, deep in the grip of despondency. He also highlighted the progress of India as a sporting society and its sporting culture saying the efforts are being made to organise the 2030 Youth Olympics and the 2036 Olympics. He stressed the need for collective support of families, society, institutions, and other supporting ecosystems and mentioned changing the outlook towards sports in families.
The Prime Minister also said every section of society is drawing inspiration from the para-athletes adding that their participation in every tournament is the victory of human dreams. He added that their success inspires the entire nation and also instills a feeling of pride among the citizens. Mr. Modi highlighted the record-breaking success in terms of the total medal count of 111 in the Asian Para Games 2022. He informed that the number is three times the number of medals won in 2014 while the number of gold medals is ten times more and India moved from 15th place in medal tally to top five. The total medal tally at the Asian Para Games 2022 witnessed a 54 percent increase over the previous best performance in 2018.