Union Minister of Youth Affair and Sports proposes Khelo India Tribal Games
Union Minister of Youth Affair and Sports

Union Minister of Youth Affair and Sports Anurag Singh Thakur has proposed Khelo India Tribal Games to identify talent from tribal areas since youth from these far-flung areas and poor economic backgrounds often do not have the means or the exposure to participate in competitive sports at the national level.

It is a known fact that youths from tribal areas have a natural inclination towards sports and have a natural talent and genetic disposition for many sports, including archery, athletics, wrestling, boxing, swimming and team sports like football, and hockey. Notably, several players in the women’s hockey national team are from tribal areas of Jharkhand. Therefore, to ensure that such talent does not go untapped and can be used to add to India’s bench strength for international competitions, it has been proposed by union minister that these talented youngsters be given a platform.

The immense popularity and success of the Khelo India Youth Games and the Khelo India University Games have shown that given the right platform Indian youth can go a long way in bringing home medals and in qualifying for elite-level sports.

The move was welcomed by states, with ministers and senior officials from several states like Goa, Manipur, and Arunachal Pradesh adding that the Khelo India Tribal Games could act as a feeder for the Khelo India Youth Games and University Games in the initial years. Athletes identified through Khelo India Tribal Games could be nominated to participate in KIYG and KIUG, thus giving young athletes from tribal areas a chance to compete at the all-India level and later, after talent nurturing at the international level.

State representatives felt that this move could impact northeast states in a big way. This would also have a positive impact on youth from tribal areas that and help channelise local talent towards sports as a means of social and economic upliftment.

It is a notable coincidence that this discussion and deliberation was held on the day that Droupadi Murmu filed her nomination for President of India, the first tribal woman in India to ever do so.

Also Read | India names 18-member women’s hockey team for CWG

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