Shri Kiren Rijiju calls upon States to create awarenessabout Atmanirbhar Bharat through NYKS, NSS volunteers; States laud One State, One Sports policy as way to Olympic glory

Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri Kiren Rijiju met Ministers as well as senior officials of the Youth Affairs and Sports Departments of 18 States and Union Territories  through video conferencing today. The meeting was the first part of the two-day conference where all States and UTs will share the roadmap forward for resumption of sports post Covid19 as well as of engaging more volunteers of the Nehru Yuva Kendra Sangathan (NYKS) and National Service Scheme (NSS) to promote various schemes at the State-level.

Addressing the meeting, ShriRijiju said, “The NYKS and NSS volunteers have done a commendable job working alongside civil administration during Covid 19. There are currently 75 lakh volunteers and we have decided to take that number up to 1 crore in Unlock 2. Prime Minister has already announced Atmanirbhar Bharat. As the country opens up, our volunteers will create awareness among all sections of society such as farmers, small business owners and others, regarding the direct benefits that they can get through beingself-reliant.I call upon the States to promote volunteers and support them to work better. They will be working directly with the district administration with minimal intervention of the Centre.”

Discussing the points included in the concise agenda, representatives of large number of States lauded the steps taken by the Ministry to promote grassroot-level sports as well as Olympic-level training in all the States. The setting up of one Khelo India State Centre Excellence (KISCE) in each State and following the One State One Sport policy found favour with States, as Ministers and officials showed keen interest in adopting one sport in which the State has traditionally been strong. Shri Rijiju Said, “Our ministry will assist and fund the States in theendeavour to achieve excellence in one or two sport. The KISCEs will become the nodal centre for a particular sport where athletes can be groomed at world-class facilities for Olympics. States can also choose to train athletes in other sports, including traditional sports, but the focus should be on one or two disciplines.” The representatives of the States said that setting up of 1000 Khelo India Centers in all districts across the country will help to not just tap into local talent, but also create a culture of sport in the country. Several States shared their own success stories in promoting grassroot-level sport.

The Minister further stated that the participation of States in activities related to the Fit India Movement have been encouraging, with more than 2.5 lakh schools across India enrolling to become Fit India Schools. The Minister added, “I request all State and UT Governments to take active part in including all schools in their States and UTs to register as Fit India schools so that fitness becomes a way of life for youngsters.”

After his interaction with representatives of the States, ShriRijiju said, “It has been an enriching conference. The Ministers and officers have made some very valuable suggestions about sports and youth affairs related issues. They have also briefed me about their preparations for post Covid – of ways to start sporting events and training for athletes. States are doing a very good job and the Ministry is closely co-ordinating with them. I am sure we will come out with a roadmap for the way forward, at the end of the conference.”

On the first day, representatives from Andhra Pradesh, Assam, Chattisgarh, Gujarat, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir, Karnataka, Kerala, Ladakh, Maharashtra, Odisha, Punjab, Rajasthan, Tamil Nadu, Telangana, Uttarakhand and West Bengal, participated. The other States/UTs will be in the conference on July 15, 2020.