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SAI centres gear up to listen to PM's Mann ki Baat tomorrow

By Amanpreet Singh

New Delhi, Aug 26 (PTI) The SAI centres across the country are gearing up to listen to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's popular radio program 'Mann Ki Baat' tomorrow since he is likely to touch upon issues related to sports, especially 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.

It has been learnt that senior officials of the Sports Authority of India (SAI) have been asked to convey the message to the Centres across the country, where thousands of Indian players hone their skills, to tune in to the program.

"The National Sports Day is approaching and the PM is very keen to see that India develops into a sporting country, so he will touch upon a lot of sports issues," a sports ministry official told PTI on condition of anonymity.

SAI runs 12 major Centres, including National Institute of Sports (NIS) in Patiala, and more than 50 small centres across the country.

Dhyan Chand's birthday which falls on August 29 is observed as National Sports Day. On this day, National Sports Awards such as Arjuna and Khel Ratna are conferred on selected athletes by the President of India every year.

"All the SAI centres in the country have been told to convey the message so that all the campers can listen," the official said.

Modi is likely to speak on a range of issues including Tokyo Olympics, National Sports Day and Bharat Indigenous Games.

"He will also speak about Major Dhyan Chand and his inspirational achievements," said another source.

In the month of June, the Sports Ministry had written to the Prime Minister's Office, requesting that Bharat Ratna, country's highest civilian honour, should be bestowed upon the triple Olympic gold medallist.

Sports and Indian athletes have regularly figured in PM's Mann ki Baat, the latest mention being India women's cricket team's historic runner-up finish at the World Cup in England.

He had advised Mithali Raj and her team to not feel disheartened following the defeat at the hands of hosts England as the entire country was proud of their feat

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