Prime Minister Narendra Modi has stressed the need to keep on improving the ways and system to develop sports culture in India.
He pointed out that traditional sports are getting a new identity along with the promotion of international sports.
Interacting with the para-athlete contingent for Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games today through video conferencing, Mr. Modi highlighted that for recognizing local talents, 360 Khelo India Centres have been established and these centres will be increased to one thousand soon.
The Prime Minister added that equipments, grounds and infrastructure are being made available to the sportspersons.
He insisted that in order to reach the top,country has to shed its fears that made home in the hearts of the older generation when families were apprehensive that if a child was interested in sports.
Saying earlier, there were no career prospects in sports barring one or two sports, the Prime Minister emphasized that this insecurity needed to be destroyed.
Mr. Modi said the villages and remote areas are full of talent and the contingent of para athletes are living example of that.
There are so many youths who have the ability to bring so many medals and the country is trying to reach out to them.
Lauding the para-athletes for their self confidence and will power, Mr.Modi credited their hard work for the biggest ever contingent to the Paralympic Games.
He expressed hope that India will create a new history at the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games.
The Prime Minister also said that today’s new India does not put pressure for medals on the athletes but expects them to give their best.
He said, earlier, giving facilities to Divyang Jan was treated as welfare, today the country is working for this as part of its responsibility.
Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur lauded the fighting spirit of para-athletes for showing brilliant performance at various international para-athletic games.
He thanked the Prime Minister for extending support to athletes across the country.
Mr Thakur said, India’s Paralympics Contingent is set to script history in Tokyo and the players are charged up with the best wishes of Prime Minister Modi.
He said, Prime Minister has always guided the nation in every situation and today he blessed and boosted the morale of the Paralympic players.
The Minister said, this time India is sending its largest contingent ever in which 54 para-players will represent the country in 9 para sports categories.
During her interaction with the Prime Minister, Para Archer Jyoti Balyan, shared her inspiring story of how she overcame the depression of losing her father and now aspires to win the medal for the nation.
Mr. Modi lauded her saying despite losing her father, she bounced back and worked hard.
Para-archer Rakesh Kumar said that after his accident in 2010, he used to take help of two to even sit up but in 2017 his life changed when he met his coach who inspired him to join sports.
Javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia said there were many challenges in his life , but he never lost his spirit to do something for the nation.
Para Athlete Mariyappan Thangavelu explained his journey from becoming a gold-winning athlete to a coach.
He said that the mantra for young athletes is not to lose focus, train hard and never give up.
Para-badminton player Palak Kohli said that her disability has now become her super ability, with all the support from the academy and her family.
Para badminton player Parul Parmar also talked about her experience.
The Prime Minister lauded her saying she has worked hard on her fitness.
Para Powerlifter Sakina Khatun also shared her thoughts.
Paracanoe Athlete,Prachi Yadav shared that it is due to her father’s constant support that she has been able to realise her dreams.
She further urged parents to support their daughters and give them wings to make the nation proud.
Para-Shooter Singhraj said the government’s financial support and cooperation helped him build his own 50m international level shooting range.
54 para athletes from across nine sports disciplines will be heading to Tokyo to represent the nation.
This is India’s largest ever contingent to the Paralympic Games.