Har Har Mahadev!
The Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, several ministers of the UP government on the dais, representatives, distinguished guests from the world of sports, and my dear family members from Kashi!
Once again, I have got the opportunity to come to Banaras. Explaining the joy of being in Banaras is very difficult. Join me in saying once again… Om Namah Parvati Pataye, Har-Har Mahadev! Today, I have come to Kashi on a day when Bharat has completed one month in reaching the Shiv Shakti Point on the moon’s surface. Shiv Shakti is the point where our Chandrayaan landed on the 23rd of last month. One Shiv Shakti is on the moon, and the other Shiv Shakti is here in my Kashi. Today, I extend my congratulations once again from this place of Shiv Shakti for Bharat’s victory on that place of Shiv Shakti.
My dear family members,
The place where all of us have gathered today is like a sacred spot. This place is a camp which connects the abode of Mata Vindhyavasini and the city of Kashi. Not far from here is the village Moti Kot of Raj Narain ji, an eminent figure of Bharat’s democracy and a former Union Minister. I bow in reverence to this land and to Raj Narain ji’s birthplace.
My dear family members,
Today, the foundation stone of an international cricket stadium has been laid in Kashi. This stadium will not only be a blessing for Varanasi but also for the youth of Purvanchal. When this stadium is completed, more than 30,000 people will be able to watch matches together. And I know that ever since the images of this stadium were revealed, every resident of Kashi has been elated. In the city of Lord Mahadev, this stadium is dedicated to Him, both in its design and in spirit. It will host not just cricket matches but also provide an opportunity for local young players to train at an international-level stadium. This will greatly benefit my Kashi.
My family members,
The world is connecting with Bharat through cricket today. New countries are emerging to play cricket, and it is evident that the number of cricket matches will increase in the coming days. And as cricket matches increase, there will be a need for new stadiums. This international cricket stadium in Banaras will fulfil that demand, and it is going to shine as a star for the entire Purvanchal region. This will be the first stadium in Uttar Pradesh with significant support from the BCCI in its construction. Being the Member of Parliament from Kashi and as your representative, I express heartfelt gratitude to the officials of the BCCI.
My family members,
When sports infrastructure is developed and a stadium of this magnitude is built, it not only affects sports but also has a positive impact on the local economy. When such big sports centres are built, big sports events will be held in them. When big sports events take place, there will be a large number of spectators and players. This benefits hotel owners, small and large food vendors, rickshaw-auto-taxi drivers, and those who operate boats. Thanks to such a large stadium, new sports coaching centres will open, providing opportunities for sports management education. Our young people in Banaras can now consider careers in new sports start-ups. Many courses related to sports, including physiotherapy, will start, and a significant sports industry will also come to Varanasi.
My dear family members,
There was a time when parents scolded their children for playing all the time, saying if they would ever study, or if they would keep indulging in sports forever. Children used to listen to all this. Society’s perspective has now changed. The children were always serious about sports, and now even the parents are taking sports seriously. The mood of the country has become such that whoever plays will indeed shine.
About a month or two ago, I visited a tribal area in Madhya Pradesh, Shahdol, where I had the opportunity to meet some young individuals. I was truly impressed by the atmosphere there and their words. The young people told me that this is our mini-Brazil. I asked them how it is a mini-Brazil, and they replied that in their village, every household has a football player, and some people told me that in their family, three generations have been national football players. One player retired and dedicated his life to the sport. Today, you will find every generation’s individual playing football in that region. They say that during their annual function, one won’t find anyone at home. Lakhs of people from hundreds of villages of the entire area stay on the field for two to four days. My belief in the bright future of the country increases seeing this culture. And as the Member of Parliament from Kashi, I bear witness to these changes here.
The enthusiasm that prevails during Saansad sports competitions here constantly reaches me. My desire is to see the youth of Kashi make a name for themselves in the world of sports. Therefore, our effort is to provide high-quality sports facilities to the youth of Varanasi. With this in mind, approximately 400 crores of rupees are being spent on the Sigra Stadium along with the new stadium. Sigra Stadium is being equipped with necessary facilities for over 50 sports events. And a special feature of this stadium is that it will be the country’s first multi-disciplinary Sports Complex designed keeping in mind the Divyangjan individuals. It will soon be dedicated to the people of Kashi. Whether it is a synthetic track in Bada Lalpur, synthetic basketball court, encouragement for different ‘akhadas’ (wrestling rings), not only are we building new infrastructure, we are also improving the city’s existing facilities.
My family members,
The success that Bharat is experiencing in sports today is a result of a change in the country’s perspective. We have connected sports with the fitness of youth and their careers. Compared to nine years ago, the Union Sports Budget has been increased threefold this year. The Khelo India program budget has seen nearly a 70% growth compared to the previous year. The government is walking alongside our players from schools to Olympic podiums. Under the Khelo India program, sports competitions have been held across the country, from schools to universities, and a significant number of our daughters have also participated. The government is providing every possible assistance to athletes at every step. The Olympic Podium scheme is one such effort. Under this scheme, the government provides financial assistance worth several lakhs of rupees for food, fitness, and training to our top athletes throughout the year. The result of this can be seen today in every international competition. Recently, Bharat made history in the World University Games. In these games, our children have won more medals this year than in the previous decades of the entire history of the competition. The Asian Games are starting today, and I extend my best wishes to all the athletes from Bharat who are participating in these games.
In every corner of Bharat’s villages, there is talent, and there are sporting champions waiting to be discovered. It is essential to search for them and nurture their potential. Today, young individuals from even the smallest villages have become a source of pride for the entire nation. They serve as examples of the tremendous talent that exists in our smaller towns and villages. We must nurture this talent to provide them with more opportunities. The Khelo India campaign has played a significant role in identifying talent from every nook of the country at a very young age. By identifying these athletes, the government is taking every step to transform them into international-level athletes. Today, we have several eminent players among us in this program who have brought glory to the country in the world of sports. I express my special gratitude to all of them for showing their affection for Kashi.
My family members,
Today, having good coaches and coaching facilities are equally important to groom athletes. The eminent players present here understand the significance of this, and they know it well. That is why the government is also ensuring good coaching for athletes today. The players who have competed in major competitions, who have national and international exposure, are being encouraged to work as coaches. In recent years, youth in the country have been connected to different sports events.
The government is building modern sports infrastructure in every village, and this will provide new opportunities for players in villages and small towns. In the past, better stadiums were only available in big cities like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, and Chennai. Now, efforts are being made to provide these facilities to players in every corner of the country, even in remote areas. I am pleased that the sports infrastructure being developed under the Khelo India program is benefiting our daughters significantly. Now, girls are facing less compulsion to travel far from home for playing and training.
The new National Education Policy has placed sports on par with other academic subjects like science, commerce, or any other study. Previously, sports were considered merely an extra-curricular activity, but that is not the case anymore. Now, sports are being formally taught as a subject in schools. It is our own government that has established the country’s first National Sports University in Manipur. In Uttar Pradesh too, nearly thousands of crores are being spent on sports facilities. New sports centres are being built for our players, ranging from the expansion of Gorakhpur’s sports college to the establishment of the Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut.
Expanding sports facilities is crucial for the country’s development. This is not only important for sports but also for the prestige of the nation in the field of sports. Many of us only know about several cities around the world because they have hosted major international sports events. We need to create such centres in Bharat where international sports events can be organized. This stadium, the foundation stone of which was laid today, will be a testament to our commitment to sports. This stadium will not just be made of bricks and concrete; it will be a grand symbol of Bharat’s future. I consider myself fortunate that for every development project, Kashi bestows its blessings upon me. No work in Kashi can be accomplished without its people. With your blessings, we will continue to write new chapters of development for Kashi. Once again, I congratulate the people of Kashi, the entire Purvanchal, on the foundation stone laying ceremony of the cricket stadium.
Har Har Mahadev! Thank you!
Speaking at foundation stone laying ceremony of International Cricket Stadium in Varanasi. It will help popularise sports and nurture sporting talent among youngsters. https://t.co/mcWhBvdTr7— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 23, 2023
When sports infrastructure is built, it has a positive impact not only on nurturing young sporting talent but also augurs well for the local economy. pic.twitter.com/NwbTk4xnTc— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 23, 2023
जो खेलेगा, वही खिलेगा। pic.twitter.com/p6w68od3HG— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 23, 2023
खेलों में आज भारत को जो सफलता मिल रही है, वो देश की सोच में आए बदलाव का परिणाम है। pic.twitter.com/zNupaGEqTT— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 23, 2023
Khelo India Abhiyaan has become a great medium to promote sports among youth. pic.twitter.com/LTxLbYRIuN— PMO India (@PMOIndia) September 23, 2023
बाबा विश्वनाथ की नगरी में आज जिस इंटरनेशनल क्रिकेट स्टेडियम की आधारशिला रखी गई है, उसकी डिजाइन महादेव को ही समर्पित है। बनारस का ये स्टेडियम पूरे पूर्वांचल का चमकता हुआ सितारा बनेगा। pic.twitter.com/YkfehtlgvW— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 23, 2023
सिगरा स्टेडियम को भी बहुत जल्द काशीवासियों को समर्पित किया जाएगा। ये देश का पहला बहुस्तरीय Sports Complex होगा, जिसे बनाने में दिव्यांगजनों का भी पूरा ध्यान रखा जा रहा है। pic.twitter.com/Q1Uf6PgK9n— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 23, 2023
हमने Sports को युवाओं की फिटनेस के साथ ही उनके रोजगार और करियर से भी जोड़ा है। खेलों को लेकर सोच में आए इस बदलाव के परिणाम काफी उत्साहवर्धक रहे हैं। pic.twitter.com/SnbSpHaXUk— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 23, 2023
आज छोटे-छोटे गांवों से निकले युवा खिलाड़ी भी देश की शान बढ़ा रहे हैं। उनके टैलेंट को ज्यादा से ज्यादा अवसर मिले, हमारी सरकार इस दिशा में हर कदम उठा रही है। pic.twitter.com/MH9kZenUmD— Narendra Modi (@narendramodi) September 23, 2023