In a momentous event held in New Delhi, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur, Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, unveiled the logo and mascot for the first-ever Khelo India Para Games 2023. This historic occasion was graced by the presence of eminent athletes and para athletes, marking a significant step towards inclusivity and recognition in Indian sports.
Ujjwala – Symbol of Pride and Determination:
The official mascot, ‘Ujjwala,’ a sparrow, was revealed during the ceremony. Representing the pride of Delhi, this little sparrow stands as a symbol of determination and empathy. Ujjwala embodies the spirit of Khelo India – Para Games 2023, sending a powerful message that strength manifests in diverse forms, and the human spirit is unbreakable.
Athletic Icons Present:
The launch event saw the participation of renowned athletes, including former Indian Women’s Hockey Team Captain Rani Rampal, Olympian bronze medallist Yogeshwar Dutt, professional wrestler Sarita Mor, and boxer Akhil Kumar. The presence of star para athletes like Pramod Bhagat, Bhavina Patel, Avani Lekhara, and Sumit Antil added a special touch to the occasion, showcasing the unity and diversity in Indian sports.
Budget Boost for Khelo India
Shri Anurag Singh Thakur announced a substantial budget increase for Khelo India, a testament to the government’s commitment to promoting sports. The budget, which was Rs 3,000 crores for the last four years, has been increased to over Rs 3300 crores for the next five years. This financial boost reflects the government’s dedication to nurturing sporting talent and creating a robust sports ecosystem in the country.
Khelo India Legacy
Since its inception in 2018, Khelo India has successfully hosted 11 games, including Youth Games, University Games, and Winter Games. Shri Thakur emphasized the instrumental role these games have played in identifying and nurturing talent across the nation. With the introduction of Khelo India Para Games, the initiative aims to further extend its impact by identifying and supporting talented para athletes, contributing to India’s success in multi-discipline events.
Anticipation for Khelo India Para Games
The inaugural Khelo India Para Games is expected to witness participation from over 1400 athletes across 32 states, union territories, and the Services Sports Control Board. The athletes will compete in 7 disciplines, including para athletics, para shooting, para archery, para football, para badminton, para table tennis, and para weightlifting. The three designated SAI stadiums – IG Stadium, Shooting Range in Tughlaqabad, and JLN Stadium – will host the events, promising a showcase of exceptional talent and determination.
The launch of the Khelo India Para Games 2023 logo and mascot marks a pivotal moment in Indian sports, emphasizing inclusivity, diversity, and the unyielding spirit of athletes. With an increased budget and a legacy of successful games, Khelo India continues to be a catalyst for identifying and nurturing sporting talent across the nation. As the countdown to the inaugural Khelo India Para Games begins, expectations run high for an event that will not only celebrate athletic prowess but also redefine the narrative of sports inclusivity in India.