Inaugurating Khel Mahakumbh 2.0, Chief Minister Shri Bhupendra Patel conveyed that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s guiding principle of ‘Potential plus platform is equal to performance’ has evolved into a remarkable example within Gujarat’s Khel Mahakumbh. He stated that the Khel Mahakumbh, initiated by the Prime Minister in 2010, has left a significant impact on the sports landscape of the state. This initiative has created a platform for individuals of all ages—children, youth, and seniors—to display their sporting talents across various levels, thereby establishing a tradition of an illustrious sporting culture.
In the presence of Sports Minister Harsh Sanghvi and Ahmedabad Mayor Smt Pratibha Jain, the Chief Minister motivated young athletes, highlighting that Gujarat has produced the best sports personalities at both the national and international levels, thanks to initiatives like Khel Mahakumbh. He pointed out that Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi launched several innovative schemes and initiatives aimed at inspiring, anchoring, and celebrating sports in Gujarat, thereby contributing to the establishment of a robust sports infrastructure in the state. CM Shri Bhupendra Patel emphasized that Swarnim Gujarat Sports University has emerged as a pivotal institution in fostering a sports culture in the state. Additionally, he noted that Gujarat has implemented a dedicated sports policy to nurture talents in the field of sports.
He went on to mention that the state government has progressively expanded the sports budget from two and a half crore rupees two decades ago to the current figure of 293 crore rupees. Consequently, the number of sports centres at the district level has multiplied eightfold over the last two decades. The CM highlighted that Shri Narendra Modi, during his tenure as the Chief Minister, popularized the Gujarat model at the national level by initiating ‘Khelo India’ as the Prime Minister, continuing the tradition of promoting the sports sector in Gujarat.
Sports Minister Shri Harsh Sanghvi, on this occasion, remarked that today marks the beginning of a new phase for Khel Mahakumbh. He added that the initiative was launched by the then Chief Minister Shri Narendra Modi to provide a platform for the talents of the state. Furthermore, he noted that today, Khel Mahakumbh has evolved with the participation of 60 lakh players, a substantial increase from the 15 lakh players who participated in the event in 2010.
He additionally stated that a prize fund of Rs 45 crore has been allocated for 39 sports across 7 age groups. The sports competitions will be organized at the taluka level and in schools. Furthermore, he emphasized that the state government is taking steps to support people with disabilities, a unique initiative undertaken only in Gujarat. Shri Harsh Sanghvi also highlighted that the National Games were swiftly organized in the state, and there are plans to establish sports centres in all talukas. He added that a stipend of Rs 1.63 lakh per student will be provided for the training of 4,890 players under the state’s DLSS. Concluding his remarks, he stated that Khel Mahakumbh 2.0 will span the entire year, allowing players to participate in two games. The Minister encouraged the youth to actively engages in Khel Mahakumbh.
Principal Secretary of the Sports Department, Shri Ashwini Kumar, delivered a welcoming address on this occasion.
During this event, the winners of the Para Asian Games 2023, as well as those at the National and International levels, were honored with the Khel Pratibha Rokad Puraskar by the dignitaries in attendance, including Chief Minister of Gujarat, Shri Bhupendra Patel. In addition to the awards ceremony, cultural performances were presented by children and youth.
Notably, Khel Mahakumbha 2.0 introduces innovations such as offering cash prizes to winning players at the taluka level, with similar cash prizes awarded to players in each age group. The event encompasses four sports, namely Sepak Takraw, Beach Woodball, and Beach Volleyball. Moreover, a sports league will be organized between the winners and professional sports league players. Additionally, a special Mahakumbh will be conducted for disabled athletes, and various sports competitions are planned throughout the year 2024.
MP Shri Kirit Solanki, MP Shri Hasmukh Patel, MLAs representing the locality, Ahmedabad District Collector Smt. Praveena D.K., Municipal Commissioner Shri M. Thennarasan, Ahmedabad City Police Commissioner Shri G. S. Malik, Chancellor of Swarnim Gujarat Sports University Dr Arjunsinh Rana, Secretary of the Sports Authority of Gujarat Shri R. D. Bhatt, Director General of the Sports Authority of Gujarat Shri R.S. Ninama, alongside numerous officials, dignitaries, and a substantial gathering of players, attended the event.