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Government of India
Prime Minister's Office
02 JAN 2022 5:56PM by PIB Delhi
English rendering of PM's address at laying the foundation stone of Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut, Uttar Pradesh

Bharat Mata Ki, Jai!

Bharat Mata Ki, Jai!

Governor of UP Smt. Anandiben Patel ji,  the popular and energetic Chief Minister Shri Yogi Adityanath ji, Deputy Chief Minister Keshav Prasad Maurya ji, my colleagues in the Union Cabinet Shri Sanjeev Balyan and  V.K Singh ji, Ministers in UP Shri Dinesh Khatik ji, Shri  Upendra Tiwari ji and Shri Kapil Dev Aggarwal ji, my colleagues in Parliament Shri Satyapal Singh ji, Rajendra Agrawal ji, Vijaypal Singh Tomar ji and Smt. Kanta Kardam ji, MLAs Somendra Tomar ji, Sangeet Som ji, Jitendra Satwal ji and Satya Prakash Agarwal ji, Meerut Zilla Parishad President Gaurav Chaudhary ji, Muzaffarnagar Zilla Parishad President Veerpal ji, all the other people's representatives and my dear brothers and sisters who have come from Meerut and Muzaffarnagar, I wish you all a very Happy New Year 2022.

Visiting Meerut at the beginning of the year is very important to me in itself. In Indian history, Meerut has not just been a city but a significant center of culture and strength. Meerut has energized the faith of the country from the Ramayana and Mahabharata period to the Jain Tirthankaras and also by one of the five ‘Panj Pyare’ (five beloved ones) Bhai Dharam Singh.

This region has demonstrated India’s strength to the world from the Indus Valley Civilization to the country's first freedom struggle. The roar of independence from Baba Augharnath Temple in 1857 and the ‘Dilli Chalo’ call raged into a flame in the country in the dark tunnel of servitude. Moving forward with this inspiration of revolution, we became free and today we are proudly celebrating the Amrit Mahotsav of our freedom. I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to visit Baba Augharnath Temple before coming here. I also went to Amar Jawan Jyoti and the Freedom Struggle Museum where I felt the same feeling which was longing in the hearts of those who were ready to do anything for the freedom of the country.

Brothers and sisters,

Meerut and its surrounding areas have also made a significant contribution in giving a new direction to independent India. Whether it is sacrifices at the border for national security or honor for the nation on the playing field, this region has always kept the flame of patriotism alive. Nurpur also gave visionary leadership to the country in the form of Chaudhary Charan Singh ji. I salute this place of inspiration and greet the people of Meerut and the region.

Brothers and sisters,

Meerut has also been the workplace of Major Dhyan Chand ji, another great son of the country. A few months ago, the central government named the country's biggest sports award after Dadda. Today, Meerut Sports University is being dedicated to Major Dhyan Chand ji. And when the name of this university gets associated with Major Dhyan Chand ji, his prowess inspires no doubt, but there is also a message in his name. The word ‘Dhyan’ in his name suggests that success can never be achieved without focused activity. This is my firm belief that the young people, who will work with full attention at the university, whose name is associated with Dhyan Chand, will brighten the name of the country.

I congratulate the youth of Uttar Pradesh for the first Sports University of UP. Built at a cost of Rs 700 crore, this modern university will be one of the best sports universities in the world. The youth will not only get international facilities related to sports here, it will also build the skills required to adopt sports as a career. More than 1,000 sons and daughters will emerge as the best players from here every year. That is, the city of revolutionaries will also strengthen its identity as the city of sportsmen.

Friends,

In the previous governments, criminals and mafia used to play their ‘games’ in UP. Earlier, there used to be tournaments related to illegal land grabbing here and those passing lewd remarks on daughters used to roam openly. The people of Meerut and surrounding areas can never forget that people's houses were burnt down and the previous government was engaged in its ‘game’. It was the result of the ‘game’ of the previous governments that people were forced to flee their ancestral homes.

What kind of games used to be played here earlier and now Yogi ji's government is playing ‘jail-jail’ with such criminals. Five years ago, the daughters of Meerut were afraid to leave their house after evening. Today the daughters of Meerut are illuminating the name of the entire country. The ‘game’ being played at Meerut's Sotiganj Bazaar (infamous for stolen cars) is also coming to an end now. Now the ‘real game’ is being promoted in UP and the youth of UP are getting a chance to showcase their skills in the world of sports.

Friends,

There is a saying in our country: महाजनो येन गताः स पंथाः

That is, the path on which the great luminaries walked is our path. But India has transformed; now we are in the 21st century. And in this new India of the 21st century, the biggest responsibility lies with our youth. Therefore, the mantra has changed now. The mantra of the 21st century is युवा जनो येन गताः स पंथाः।

The path on which the youth walk in is the path of the country. Wherever the youth move, the destination follows automatically. The youth is also the helmsman of the new India; the youth is also the extension of the new India. The youth is also the controller of the new India; the youth is also the leader of the new India. Our youth today have a legacy of the old as well as a sense of modernity. Therefore, India will go where the youth will go. And the world is going to go where India goes. Today the youth of India are everywhere from science to literature, from start-ups to sports.

Brothers and sisters,

Our youngsters in the world of sports were already competent and there was no lacking in their hard work. Sports culture has also been very rich in our country. Sports is an important part of every festival in our villages. Who would not want to play the wrestling bouts in Meerut for the taste of cans of ghee and ‘laddus’ as the prize of victory? But it is also true that the attitude towards sports and players was very different because of the policies of the previous governments. Earlier, when a young man used to identify himself as a player and mention his discipline and speak of his achievements, what used to be the response of others? They used to say: “It’s fine that you play, but what do you do?” There was no respect for the sports.

If someone described himself as a player in the villages, then people would say that he must be playing for a job in the army or police. That is, the outlook towards sports was very limited. Earlier governments did not give importance to this potential of the youth. It was the responsibility of the governments to change the outlook of society towards sports. But on the contrary, apathy grew towards sports in the country. The result was that even in the era of servitude when talents like Major Dhyan Chand ji made the country proud in hockey; we had to wait for decades for medals.

Hockey in the world moved from the natural field to the astroturf, but we remained there. By the time we woke up, it was too late. Moreover, nepotism and corruption ruled from top to bottom, from training to team selection, discrimination was at every level and transparency was nowhere. Friends, hockey is just an example, this was the story of every other sporting event. The previous governments in the country could not prepare the best ecosystem for the changing technology, demand and skills.

Friends,

The immense talent of the youth of the country was confined due to government apathy. After 2014, we carried out reforms at every level to get it out of that grip. Our government has given four tools to increase the potential of the players. Players need resources, modern training facilities, international exposure and transparency in selection. Our government has given these four tools to the players of India in the past few years on a priority basis. We have linked sports with fitness and employment of the youth, self-employment and their careers. The Target Olympic Podium Scheme, i.e. TOPS, has been one such effort.

Today, the government is spending millions of rupees on the top players on their diet, fitness and training. Talent is being identified in every corner of the country at a very young age through the Khelo India campaign. Every possible help is being given to such players to make them athletes of the international level. It is because of these efforts that when an Indian player enters the international arena today, then his performance is appreciated by the world. We saw that in the Olympics and the Paralympics. What was never happened before in history was done by the heroic sons and daughters of my country in the last Olympics. There was such a volley of medals that the entire country spoke in unison that India has ushered in a new dawn in the field of sports.

Brothers and sisters,

Today we can see sons and daughters from ordinary families of many small villages and towns of Uttar Pradesh and Uttarakhand are representing India. Our sons and daughters are coming forward even in such events in which only the youth of rich families could take part. Many athletes from this region have represented the country in the Olympics and the Paralympics. This is the result of the modern sports infrastructure that the government is developing in every village. Earlier better stadiums were available only in big cities; today these facilities are being provided to the players in the villages.

Friends,

Whenever we try to develop new work culture, it requires three things - association, approach and resources! Our association with sports has been centuries old. But our old relationship with sports will not work to create a culture of sports. We also need a new approach. It is necessary to instill confidence in our youth and encourage them to make sports their profession. This is also my resolve and dream! I want our youth to see sports in the same way as other professions. We also have to keep in mind that not everybody who takes up sports will become world number one. When the sports ecosystem is ready, there are so many possibilities from sports management to sports writing and sports psychology. Gradually, this belief develops in society that it is the right decision for the youth to take up sports. Resources are needed to create such an ecosystem. When we develop the necessary resources and infrastructure, the sports culture begins to grow stronger. If there are necessary resources for sports, then the sports culture will also take shape and expand in the country.

Therefore, such sports universities are very important today. These sports universities act as nurseries for sports culture to flourish. Therefore, our government established the first National Sports University in Manipur in 2018 after seven decades of independence. In the last seven years, many institutions related to sports education and skills have been modernized across the country. And today the country has got another excellent institute of higher education in sports in the form of the Major Dhyan Chand Sports University.

Friends,

Another thing we have to remember about the world of sports. And the people of Meerut know it well. The global market for sports-related services and goods is worth billions of rupees. Sports goods are exported from Meerut to more than 100 countries. Meerut is not only vocal for local but is also turning local into global. Many such sports clusters are also being developed across the country today. The aim is to make the country self-sufficient in the manufacture of sports goods and equipment.

Sports have also been given priority in the new National Education Policy which is being implemented. Sports have been placed in the same category as science, commerce, mathematics, geography, or other studies. Earlier sports were considered as an extracurricular activity, but now sports will be a subject in schools. It will be as important as the rest of the subjects.

Friends,

There is so much talent in the youth of UP that the sky can become small. Therefore, the double engine government is setting up many universities in UP. Mahayogi Guru Gorakhnath AYUSH University in Gorakhpur, Dr. Rajendra Prasad University of Law in Prayagraj, State Institute of Forensic Sciences in Lucknow, Raja Mahendra Pratap Singh State University in Aligarh, Maa Shakumbari University in Saharanpur and now Major Dhyan Chand Sports University in Meerut. Our intent is clear that our youth should not only become role models, they should be able to identify their role models.

Friends,

Governments’ role is that of guardians. Merit should be promoted, but simultaneously, mistakes should not be overlooked by saying that ‘boys make mistakes’. Today, Yogi ji's government is making record government appointments of youth. Thousands of youths who have received training from ITI have been given employment in big companies. Millions of youth have been given the benefit under the National Apprenticeship Scheme or Pradhan Mantri Kaushal Vikas Yojana. The UP government has also started a campaign to give tablets and smartphones to the students on the birth anniversary of Atal ji.

Friends,

It is also important for the youth of UP to know about another scheme of the Central Government. This is Swamitva Yojana. Under this scheme, the Central Government is giving ‘Gharauni’, the legal papers related to the ownership of property, to the people living in the villages. With ‘Gharauni’, the youth of the villages will be able to get loans from banks to start their own business. It will also liberate the housewives, the poor, the oppressed, the deprived, the oppressed, the backward and every section of the society from the worries of illegal occupation of their house. I am happy that Yogi ji's government is advancing the ownership scheme very fast. More than 23 lakh households have been provided ‘Gharauni’ in 75 districts of UP. Yogi ji's government will intensify this campaign after the election.

Brothers and sisters,

Most of the youth in this region live in rural areas. Our government is also constantly working to strengthen the rural economy. Only yesterday, crores of rupees have been transferred to the bank accounts of lakhs of farmers of UP through the Prime Minister's Kisan Samman Nidhi. It is also benefiting the small farmers of this region.

Friends,

Those who were in power earlier made you wait for long and paid the price of sugarcane in installments. The sugarcane farmers did not get the amount during the previous two governments which they got under the Yogi ji’s government. You know better than me that sugar mills were sold at throwaway prices in the previous governments. Are you aware or not? Were the sugar mills sold or not? Whether the scam happened or not? Mills do not face closure in Yogi ji's government, now they are expanded and new mills are opened. Now UP is also moving fast in the production of ethanol made from sugarcane. Ethanol worth about Rs 12,000 crore has been purchased from UP in the last four-and-a-half years. The government is rapidly expanding agricultural infrastructure and food processing industries. Today, Rs one lakh crore is being spent on rural infrastructure, storage facilities and cold storage.

Brothers and sisters,

The double engine government is working to enhance the strength of the youth as well as the strength of this region. Meerut's ‘Revadi-Gajak’, handloom, brass band and jewellery are the pride of this place. Many more efforts are being made for further expansion of small and micro industries in Meerut and Muzaffarnagar to make a strong base of big industries here and to get new markets for agricultural products. Therefore, efforts are being made to make this region the most modern and most connected region of the country. Due to the Delhi-Meerut Expressway, Delhi is now an hour away. The work of the Ganga Expressway, which was launched a few days ago, will also start from Meerut. The connectivity of Meerut will help in developing ties with other cities of UP. The country's first regional rapid rail transit system is also connecting Meerut with the national capital. Meerut will be the first city in the country where Metro and High Speed ​​Rapid Rail will run simultaneously. The IT park of Meerut, which was left as a mere announcement of the previous government, has also been inaugurated.

Friends,

This double benefit, double speed is the identity of the double engine government. This identity has to be further strengthened. The people of western Uttar Pradesh know that Yogi ji in Lucknow and I am in Delhi are at an arm’s distance. The pace of development has to be further enhanced. We will move forward with new vigor in the New Year. My young comrades, today entire India is seeing the strength of Meerut, the strength of Western Uttar Pradesh, the strength of the youth. This strength is the strength of the country and we need to further promote this strength with a new belief. Congratulations to you once again for the Major Dhyan Chand Sports University!

Bharat Mata Ki, Jai! Bharat Mata Ki, Jai!

Vande Mataram! Vande Mataram!

 

DISCLAIMER: This is the approximate translation of PM’s speech. Original speech was delivered in Hindi.

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DS/AKJ/VK/AK