New Delhi, Oct 7: Union Minister of Sports and Youth Affairs Kiren Rijiju is mighty impressed with the success of Pro Kabaddi League which has given India's indigenous sport a global identity.
Kabaddi, that once was considered as a rusty sport and restricted to the rural areas of the country, has transformed itself into a popular touch sport in recent years. It is now appealing to urban audiences and garnering global attention.
Speaking with the broadcasters during the Pro Kabaddi League, Kiren Rijiju said his government would push hard for the inclusion of Kabaddi in the next Olympics. Kabaddi is a part of Asian Games Schedule but not in the Olympics.
Speaking on Kabaddi, Rijiju said, "As a Sports Minister I am very excited and have always thought of how to promote indigenous sports in a big way. Kabaddi is a perfect example of how an indigenous sport has grown successfully. This I feel is the beginning of the sports culture that we envisaged for India which is now becoming a reality.
"We will definitely push hard for Kabaddi to be part of the next Olympics as we are a billion-plus powerful nation and so for this to become possible, we will have to put all our efforts together, but I am very confident about it," he added further.
India has been a powerhouse in Kabaddi and faces stiff competition only from Iran on the mat and inclusion in the Olympics would certainly guarantee the nation a medal in the team sport.
With an aim to inculcate the habit of fitness and curb the increasing graph of lifestyle diseases amongst people, the Narendra Modi government recently launched 'Fit India Movement'. The campaign aims at encouraging the kids, as well as the grown-ups, to leave their homes and pursue some outdoor sport which helps in their physical development.
On Fit India, he added, "Fitness is absolutely crucial to India's growth. If India has to become a global power- be it economic, be it political or be it in sports, we have to make India a fit nation. Fit India is a universal campaign launched by our Honourable Prime Minister, Narendra Modi and we are taking it forward.
"Sports is a way of life, it has to be and fitness has to be a part of life. By 2022, we must fulfil the objective set by the Hon'ble Prime Minister and the aspirations of the youth of this nation. So, India must become fully fit by 2022. Led by the very dynamic, very energetic and visionary Prime Minister and as the Sports Minister, I can assure you that we will fulfil all the dreams together and we will achieve it. We will make India a fit nation."