PM Modi virtually inaugurate winter games at Gulmarg
By: Tariq Shah VOV
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday inaugurated the second Khelo India Winter Games in Gulmarg, while the union sports minister Kiren Rijiju was present on the occasion and said that it is the resolve of the government to bring Kashmir on the international map of sports.
Narendra Modi in his address said that such games will finally make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports and said that it will also push for the presence of India in international winter games.
There was a lot of rush of normal tourists and due to the presence of hundreds of players along with their coaches there was a lot of buzz in the ski resort of Gulmarg and it was very fascinating to see that all the accommodations inside this resort were booked.
According to the officials, in these games which were inaugurated on Friday will conclude on March 2, 2021, and in these games athletes from 27 states and Union Territories are competing.
“This is a step towards making India’s presence felt in the international winter games arena and also make Jammu and Kashmir a hub of winter sports,” he said in a virtual address.
“These games in Gulmarg show that Jammu and Kashmir is eager to reach new heights of peace and development. These Games will strengthen the resolve for ‘Ek Bharat, Shreshth Bharat”.
“I am told the participation has doubled this year and it is a reflection of the inclination towards winter sports in the country,” he added.
The disciplines to be completed the Games include alpine skiing, nordic ski, snowboarding, ski mountaineering, ice hockey, and ice skating among others.
“When you show your talent in Khelo India-Winter Games, remember that you are not just a part of a sport, but you are also the brand ambassador of a self-reliant India,” the PM said addressing the 1200 participants who have converged at the picturesque Gulmarg.
“The world evaluates India through what you do on the field,” he added.
The Games are being organised by the sports ministry and the Winter Games Association of Jammu and Kashmir.
“The two Khelo India centres of excellence in Jammu and Srinagar and Khelo India centres in 20 districts are great facilities for the young players. Such centres are being opened all over the world,” the PM stated.
Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju, who was present in Gulmarg for the inauguration, reiterated his resolve to make India a sporting powerhouse.
“Sports join states and communities. When a woman from north-east Mary Kom wins a medal, the entire country celebrates. Sports and culture are soft powers of a country,” he said in his address.
“Last time we had announced 100 small Khelo India centres here. We have already approved 40 of them and the rest will be approved in the coming financial year,” he revealed.
“We have also decided to give Mata Vaishno Devi Sport Complex a Khelo India Academy accreditation,” he added.
(with inputs from PTI)