Prime Minister delivered his first 'Mann ki Baat' of the new calendar year on Sunday evening. In his address, the Prime Minister covered a variety of topics, such as the Jal-Shakti Campaign, the success of the Khelo India games, the upcoming board exams and the various festivals celebrated across the country.
Speaking on the success of the Khelo India games, the Prime Minister first congratulated the people of Assam and said, "Friends, on January 22, the third 'Khelo India Games' concluded in Guwahati. These games had around 6,000 players from different states participating. You will be surprised to know that 80 records were broken during this grand sports festival. And I am proud that of these 80 records, 56 were broken by our daughters. These laurels have been recorded in the name of our daughters! I along with all the winners, congratulate all the participants. I also thank all the people, coaches and technical officers associated with the 'Khelo India Games’ for organising them successfully."
The Prime Minister also said that the increasing number of participants in the games. "It is very pleasant for all of us to learn that the participation of athletes in 'Khelo India Games' is on the upsurge year after year. And this also tells you about the increasing inclination towards sports in our school children. I wish to tell all of you that in 2018 when the 'Khelo India Games' were instituted, 3,500 players took part, but in just three years the number of players has increased to more than 6,000, which translates to the fact that it has almost doubled. Not only this, in just three years, through 'Khelo India Games', 3,200 gifted children have emerged on the sporting horizon! Many of these children grew up amidst dearth and poverty. The stories of patience and determination of these children who participated in 'Khelo India Games' as well as their parents will inspire every Indian."
The Prime Minister also spoke about legendary footballer David Beckham but added that India has it's very own Beckham, but in cycling. "If I now take the name of David Beckham, you will think whether I’m referring to the legendary International Footballer. But now we also have a David Beckham amidst us and he has won a gold medal at the Youth Games in Guwahati. That too in the 200-meter Sprint event in Cycling! And for me this means double joy. You know, some time ago I had visited Andaman-Nicobar Islands! There was David, a denizen of Car-Nicobar who had lost his parents while he was an infant! His uncle wanted him to become a footballer, and hence had named him after the famous footballer. But young David was obsessed with cycling. He was selected under the 'Khelo India' scheme and today you can witness for yourself that he has created a new record in cycling."