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PM Modi says govt working to host 2036 Olympic Games

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Chennai, Jan 19 (PTI) Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday said the government is striving to host the 2036 Olympic Games, provide international exposure to sports persons and making India the hub of global sports ecosystem.

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Inaugurating the Khelo India Youth Games 2023, Modi said in the last 10 years, his government has ended the 'games in sports' alluding to allegations of corruption and irregularities related to sports, during the UPA regime.

Many were surprised about had happened after 2014 and Indian athletes have improved their performance.

India achieved its best performance in Tokyo and paralympics, created history in Asian games and Asian para games.

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In the last 10 years, the "government brought reforms, sportspersons performed and the entire sports scene transformed," he said.

Never was there any shortage in sporting talent and passion but in the last 10 years they have got new self-confidence, government support in every step, he added.

So many sportspersons from Tamil Nadu are 'doing wonders' in sports. "I am sure there will be more inspiration to you all from Tamil Nadu soil... today we are not waiting for you to come to sports, we are taking sports to you." Asserting that making India a top sporting nation is the nation's aspiration, the PM said big sports events need to be held on a regular basis for that to happen.

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Initiative like Khelo India is fulfilling the dreams of youth belonging to poor, Adivasi and lower middle class families.

"When we say vocal for local, it includes sporting talent as well. At the local level, we are giving practice and holding tournaments." In the last 10 years, many international sporting events were conducted in India for the first time. "You can imagine, we have such big coastline, beaches, but for the first time beach games were held in Diu." It included the traditional Malkhamb and 8 other sports and 1,600 athletes from the country competed.

"After this a new chapter for beach games and sports tourism started. This is going to benefit coastal cities." The government is determined to see that young sports persons get international exposure and India becomes the centre of global sports ecosystem.

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"Therefore, we are working hard to conduct the 2029 youth olympics and 2036 olympics in the country. Sports is not confined to the ground, but by itself is an economy," he said.

He said he has given a 'guarantee' to make India the third largest economy and the effort is to ensure that the contribution of 'sports economy' increases. In the last 10 years, the government is developing other sectors allied to sports.

Sports equipment manufacturing and servicing ecosystem are being promoted.

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"We are giving platform to professionals related to sports science, innovation, manufacturing, sports coaching, sports psychology, sports nutrition." The government has made sports an important curriculum in the New Education Policy.

Due to this, there is an awareness in choosing sports as a career. "There is an estimate that India's sports industry will touch nearly Rs one lakh crore in the coming years. The direct benefit will be to the youth." The government is committed to ensure that India becomes self-sufficient in sports manufacturing. "Today we make 300 sports equipment...our effort is to set up related manufacturing clusters in different parts of the country." The sports infrastructure being created as part of Khelo India is also becoming a medium for employment. "Our youth in school and colleges, those who want to make a career in sports and related sector, their better future is Modi's guarantee." Welcoming the participants, the prime minister remarked that they were together "showcasing the true spirit of 'Ek Bharat Shrestha Bharat'" and said that for Indian sports, "the Youth Games is a great way to start the new year 2024".

Chief Minister M K Stalin said making Tamil Nadu the sports capital of the nation is a key objective of the state government.

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In a spirit of brotherhood, sports persons from Manipur were recently trained in Chennai and some of them are taking part in the Khelo India Games.

Modi launched and laid foundation stone for projects related to the broadcasting sector worth about Rs 250 crore. The PM witnessed a cultural programme marking the inauguration of the 13th Khelo India Games.

On the occasion, Prime Minister Modi also launched 'DD Tamil,' the revamped version of the regional language Doordarshan channel DD Podhigai.

Tamil Nadu Governor RN Ravi, Union Minister of Sports, Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of State (Sports), Nisith Pramanik, Union Minister L Murugan, Tamil Nadu Sports Minister Udhayanidhi Stalin took part.

Modi is on a three-day visit to Tamil Nadu during which he will worship in temples in the state before he reaches Ayodhya for the Ram Mandir consecration on January 22.

The PM, on his arrival was given a rousing reception and he held a road show here. PTI JSP VGN SA VGN ROH

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