The 13th Khelo India Youth Games was inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi in Chennai on Friday, January 19. Modi reportedly placed the torch handed by two athletes on the cauldron, marking the inauguration of the Khelo India games. Also present were Tamil Nadu Chief Minister MK Stalin, Governor RN Ravi, and Union Minister for Sports Anurag Thakur.
The Prime Minister’s social media platform X account carried several pictures and videos from the event. He wrote, “It is a matter of great joy that Khelo India Youth Games are being held in the beautiful city of Chennai. These games will help nurture young sporting talent.”
According to a PIB release, Modi in his speech highlighted Tamil Nadu’s contribution to sports in India. He reportedly said that it is a land that produces champions. Modi also took the names of tennis champions Amritraj Brothers, India’s Hockey captain Bhaskaran who led India to a gold medal in the Olympics, chess players Vishwanathan Anand and Praggnanandhaa, and paralympic champion Mariyappan, and said, “All athletes will derive inspiration from Tamil Nadu”.
Inaugurating the Games, Modi also claimed that Indian sports are expected to grow into a Rs 1 lakh crore worth industry. He added that the country’s sporting abilities have seen major growth in the years after 2014 when he first assumed office. Modi also said that the coming year will bring many opportunities in areas like sports equipment manufacturing and skill development. Unsurprisingly, there was no mention of the wrestlers’ protests that began a year ago in January 2023.