NEW DELHI: Highlighting a remarkable transformation in the sports infrastructure in the North-eastern region in the last nine years under the leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur informed the Parliament on Thursday that the country’s first-ever national-level sports university has been allocated to Manipur at cost of Rs 643.34 crore.
He said that unlike the previous governments who had a ‘Look East Policy’, the current Narendra Modi government has adopted an ‘Act East Policy’ under which special emphasis has been given to sports infrastructure in the North-East region.
“In an oral reply to a Parliament question on Sports Infrastructure Facilities in North East Region, Minister of Youth Affairs & Sports Anurag Singh Thakur said that with the shift from ‘Look East Policy’ to ‘Act East Policy,’ the Government has given special emphasis and impetus to sports infrastructure in the North-east region,” Anurag Thakur said.
He also said that the first national Sports University of the country has been allocated to the northeast state of Manipur at a total sanctioned cost of Rs.643.34 crore, read a press release from the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports detailing Thakur’s response.
He further said that 1000 Khelo India centres will be dedicated to the country this year itself, out of which 227 Khelo India Centres are being established in the northeast region.
He also informed that the Ministry has approved 75 sports infrastructure projects at a combined sanctioned cost of Rs 520.60 crore.
“Three National Centres of Excellence, 12 SAI Training Centres and 22 Khelo India accredited Sports Academies are already functional in the North-Eastern States,” he added.
Highlighting the contribution of the North-East to sports, the Minister said that sportspersons hailing from the northeast have brought laurels to the country especially women sportspersons like Mary Kom, Mirabai Chanu and Lovlina Borgohain.
He also hailed the contribution of sportspersons Bhaichung Bhutia and Shiva Thapa.
Speaking further, Thakur said that the government, under the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF), is supporting athletes under Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) for many of their foreign training camps, including costs incurred for travel, and lodging among other expenditures.
He said that under the Khelo India Scheme, services of several champion ex-athletes are being utilised at Khelo India Centres to promote sports at the grassroots level in the region.
Speaking on the facilities in the state of Nagaland, he said that the Central Government is making all possible efforts to support the development of sports in the states through Viability Gap Funding and handholding the states wherever necessary.
He also remarked that all essential steps are being taken to support the NE States, and the Government is positively and continuously sanctioning the proposals received from the NE, including Nagaland. Under Khelo India Scheme, the second Khelo India Games were held in Guwahati (In 2020), he added.
In his oral reply to the question about specially-abled athletes he said that under the leadership of Prime Minister Modi, there has been a behavioural shift in the way they are perceived and treated.
The change in nomenclature from ‘Viklang’ to ‘Divyang’ or ‘Specially-abled’ was a significant step in the right direction.
He also said that equality in opportunities, facilities, and treatment is being provided to all athletes, be it para-athletes, deaf athletes, or special athletes. He remarked that “We are proud of all our athletes, who are a source of inspiration and pride for the nation, and the Government is leaving no stone unturned in supporting them.” (ANI)