New Delhi [India], March 5 (ANI): At a virtual conference organised on Friday by the Conference of Indian Industry, the 6th CII Scorecard, Union Sports Minister Kiren Rijiju in his keynote address appealed to the business fraternity to help in making sports a vibrant industry in India.
"Sports is a big industry, if we really take it forward, it can become a big part of India's Gross Domestic Product (GDP), sports can give big direction to our youth. The CII can play a role in making sports a vibrant industry. The industry can set a target of what should be the share of sports in GDP," he pointed.
Rijiju was joined in the conference by his counterpart in the United Kingdom, Nigel Huddlestone, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in Sport, Tourism, and Heritage.
Complimenting the UK for hosting the Olympics on three occasions, Rijiju said it is imminent that India hosts an Olympics in the coming years to establish itself as a sports power. "India hasn't claimed its rightful place in sports. The Olympics is the biggest event in sports. London has hosted three Olympics, Tokyo has already hosted an Olympics in 1964 before the one scheduled for this year. The Olympic movement is not complete till India hosts an Olympic Games. We are taking this very seriously."
Saying that hosting major events helps in building the profile of a nation, the Sports Minister called for the industry's help in this regard. "After the lockdown, tournaments have resumed across the world and they are happening successfully. We have the shooting World Cup in Delhi later this month and the badminton Super Series is scheduled for May this year. I want to tell the industry to contribute through Corporate Social Responsibility for organising international events in India. Industry should be associated with big events."
He also spoke of the need for world-class infrastructure saying, "We really need world-class infrastructure where I want to call upon industry under the Public-Private partnership in helping create this infrastructure," he said.
The Sports Minister also spoke of the Ministry's two big initiatives Khelo India and Fit India. He appealed to corporates to launch the Fit India movement in their offices. He said that he wants the Khelo India movement to grow in the country and reach small towns and villages, where small children can be picked up from base level.
He also said that after the Khelo India Winter Games in Kashmir this year, the Ministry is planning to start winter sports facilities in Jammu, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. (ANI)