Rijiju on call with BRICS member representatives (Photo: Twitter @DDNewslive)

Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Shri. Kiren Rijiju attended the meeting of Sports Ministers of the BRICS nations on Tuesday, August 25, 2020, and spoke about the importance of sport in improving the living standards and quality of life of citizens as well as of collaboration between BRICS nations in taking sport forward in post-Covid 19 era.

Speaking about organizing sporting events as India unlocks, Shri. Rijiju said, “During India’s 2021 Chairmanship of the BRICS, Sports and Games will be one of the deliverables. The Government of India organizes annual sports competitions under the Khelo India Scheme. As we find ways to get over COVID-19, we are hopeful of organizing Khelo India Youth Games and Khelo India University Games in 2021. During Khelo India Youth Games 2021, we will invite BRICS member countries to showcase their traditional indigenous games during the inaugural or closing ceremony of Khelo India.”

The Sports Minister also said that BRICS Games 2021 is also being planned and will be aligned with the Khelo India Games schedule. “BRICS Games 2021 will be held during the same time and at the same venues as of Khelo India Games 2021 so that our players from various parts of the country who will gather for Khelo India Games will have the benefit and great opportunity of witnessing BRICS Games from close quarters. This will be a great morale booster and a motivational moment for them.”

Stressing on the importance of building fitness and sporting culture to promote the well-being of citizens, Shri. Rijiju added, “One of the Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) for UN Agenda 2030 is ‘to ensure healthy lives and promote well-being for all, at all ages. To aligning sports activities and programs with this SDG, the Government of India has taken several initiatives and launched schemes and programs. To keep people healthy and fit, the Hon’ble Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, launched FIT INDIA Movement in August 2019. The main focus of the movement is to create awareness amongst Indians about the importance of fitness in daily life and showcasing the ease and simplicity of doing things that make us fit. For the Fit India Movement, the Government is playing the role of catalyst so that Fit India becomes a people’s movement. The movement has already gained great momentum in the last 1 year.”