Indian Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju has called for creating a sports culture in the country. Inaugurating the India Sports Summit, Fitness: $10 bn opportunity today, he said that Sporting culture has to become a way of life. He called upon the private sector and industry to play a big and active role in promoting fitness in the country. India is aspiring to be a global leader, and we are already doing well in economy, politically, and spiritually. India’s rise will be complete and further consolidated if we become sports power. He said that all the nations who are sporting power, have the sports culture there, and playing games comes naturally to their citizens and children. But in India, this was not true, but now the time has come to change. Desired results can’t be achieved without developing a positive and conducive sports culture.
Shri Rijiju said that 1.3 billion people of the country are its strength. We are craving for results, yet celebrate only the success. But everyone playing game can’tbe part of the national teams. So far, the primary concern of the family has been the financial security of the children, and hence the sports was not being encouraged. But now,Changes are taking place. These can’t be achieved overnight. He said that these are exciting times, as sportspersons have started getting livelihood, recognition and respect because of their achievements. We have to change our outlook. Regressive slogans can’t encourage people to accept sports as a way of life. He said Cricket has become very popular in the country, being played in every nook and corner of the country. The Government didn’t have much role in that, as the Government has a catalyst role only, which it is doing to its best. The sports ministry is doing needful to provide world class facilities to the athletes. He called for high standard of governance in the arena of sports, by the Governments, administrators, federations and industry. The minister said that mediocrity will not be accepted. All the stakeholders have to deliver, results will follow. Kabbadi has recently become an in-thing, and its players have become celebrities.
Sports Minister said that Prime Minister recently launched the Fit India Movement, and it has become a People’s movement. Recently, on the 150th anniversary of Gandhi Jayanti, there was unprecedented participation of people in plogging, who ran and collected the plastic garbage on the way. He said Prime Minister of the country has direct connect with the citizens, and it is best moment for the country to move ahead. He talked about emphasis on fitness and sports. The minister said that we have to move from curative to preventive mentality, and fitness leads to prevention to a number of disorders and diseases. The World community is looking forward to India, and the government aswell as the indutrsy has to play a pro-active role in it. We have to take fitness programme forward to allthe parts of the country. Talking about the job creation, he said that when the country is moving towards the $5 trillion economy, the sports industry has large scope andprivate sector has an important role to play. He said that People have been taking up sports in a big way. Just imagine, Kashmiri youths taking part in sports activities in a big way will take them away from disruptive ideologies, Shri Rijiju said.
The Minister called upon the industry to play a big role in promoting the sports culture in the country. He said create space and opportunities for the youth. Some of the private sector companies have world class sports facilities in their area, and are also promoting and harnessing the talent at remote areas. He said that that good ideas for sports promotion can come for anyone, and the government is willing to accept and implement them. He said the industry has huge responsibility. Thinking aloud, he said why should country be settling for a few medals in international events, why can’tIndia aspire to be among the top medal winners in Olympics, 4 to 8 years down the line.He said when India celebrates its 75th year of independence in 2022, the country should be fit, at least 80% of the countrymen should be fit. Business houses have sports philosophies and facilities- we should all work in unison in utilizing for promoting the sport culture. Let us try to create positivity, and success will follow.
Speaking on the occasion, the Sports secretary Radheyshyam Julaniya said that the country is becoming an epicentre of lifestyle diseases. It is high time, we encourage fitness and wellness programmes. He called upon the private sector to play an active role. He said a new beginning can be made if the private sector encourages fitness among its employees and provide facilities and encouragement for all their stakeholders. Shri Julaniya said that the privet sector has the reach, business model and capacity to reach the far-flung areas and to the person on the street, and they must take the message of fitness to all their customers also.