The government on Friday said it was planning to promote internationally, traditional Indian games like Mallakhamb, Thang Ta, Yogasana, Gatka and Kalpetta.
Union Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Anurag Thakur said the government was also focusing on identifying sporting talent from rural areas and training them for global meets.
Mr. Thakur was replying to a discussion in the Lok Sabha on the steps being taken to strengthen sports in the country.
He said that the Sports Ministry would open 1,000 Khelo India centres across the country by August 15, next year.
“We will start with opening 1,000 Khelo India centres. The process for 733 such centres has already started and by next August 15, we will finish the work of opening 1,000 Khelo India centres,” the Minister said.
He cited the example of `Khel Mahakumbh’ in Gujarat, where the villagers were given an opportunity to play games, and urged the Members of Parliament to organise the event in their constituencies, so that it would give them a chance to connect with the youth of the country.
The Union Minister also lauded the performance of the para-athletes. India’s Olympics performance in this category had improved, he said.
“I want to say whether it is paralympics, deaf olympics or summer olympics, we have won most medals. Seven in the Olympics, 19 in the paralympics and 16 in the deaf olympics. We worked towards changing perceptions towards sports. PM Modi says that 100% effort must be given and one should not lose hope. Taking the cue, our athletes have performed very well,” he stated.
He also mentioned that a Memorandum of Understanding had been signed by the National Forensic Science University and the Youth Affairs Ministry with nutritional supplement testing laboratories, to provide athletes supplements that did not get them barred from international events.
“The process for 733 such centres has already started and by next August 15, we will finish the work of opening 1,000 `Khelo India’ centres”Anurag ThakurUnion Youth Affairs and Sports Minister