The Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Kiren Rijiju has said that the government will launch 1,000 Khelo India centers across the nation to encourage and employ sportspersons after they retire. Rijiju also urged corporate houses, industries, and businesses to also contribute to creating a sports-loving society.
The FICCI is currently organizing the 10th edition of Global Sports Summit – TURF 2020, which will serve as India’s first virtual global sports and fitness exhibition. Sports personalities, federations, and the top leaders will all be involved in the summit.
The FICCI is also organizing the India Sports Awards to applaud the top sportspersons within the country. This two-day program will take place from 8th to 9th December.
Speaking in a virtual conference ahead of TURF 2020, Kiren Rijiju announced the launch of 1,000 Khelo India centers for retired athletes, which will aim to grow a sporting culture in the country.
"We are also starting 1000 Khelo India small centres across the country that will help retired sportspersons get employment or some role in shaping the sports culture of the country," Kiren Rijiju said.
The sports minister emphasized that the suffering of sportspersons following their retirement discourages future generations from being involved in sports. This is why the government is backing these former athletes and providing financial aid.
"When a sportsperson suffers, it discourages generations. The government is also ensuring that the prize money and the financial support from the government reaches the athletes and the designated beneficiaries uninterrupted," explained Kiren Rijiju.
People's efforts will define the success of sports in India: Kiren Rijiju
Earlier in June this year, Kiren Rijiju had announced the launch of 1,000 Khelo India centers to make sports a more lucrative profession in India. Rijiju wants to further the development of sports at the grassroots level with a focus on preserving the dignity and financial stability of those who have represented the country.
Kiren Rijiju stated that people's participation will encourage the growth of sports in India.
"There is no lack in terms of government support, but we are not a sporting country. The government's efforts alone are never enough. It is the people's efforts, people's participation that will define the success of sports," he said.
"Even if two percent of India's population watches one sport, whether in the stadiums or on the television, it will make the game popular and will bring in the money for its development," added Rijiju.
The sports ministry has been working hard in preparing the athletes for the Tokyo Olympics, which is just eight months away. Earlier this year, Rijiju announced that the ministry were planning to send the largest-ever contingent of Indian athletes to the Games next year.