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Para Sports

Sports minister Anurag Thakur launches mascot Ujjwala for Khelo India Para Games 2023

‘Ujjwala’ is a sparrow. The little sparrow is a symbol of the pride of Delhi, and its uniqueness portrays determination and empathy. The inaugural Khelo India Para Games 2023 will take place in Delhi.

Sports minister Anurag Thakur launches mascot Ujjwala for Khelo India Para Games 2023
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FILE PHOTO: Sports minister Anurag Thakur at the launching of the Khelo India Para Games mascot Ujjwala. (Special Arrangement)

By

The Bridge Desk

Updated: 26 Nov 2023 1:11 PM GMT

Union Minister for Youth Affairs and Sports Anurag Thakur launched the mascot, Ujjwala, for the first-ever Khelo India Para Games 2023, in New Delhi on Sunday.

‘Ujjwala’ is a sparrow. The little sparrow is a symbol of the pride of Delhi, and its uniqueness portrays determination and empathy.

Ujjwala, as the mascot of Khelo India – Para Games 2023, is a reminder that strength comes in many forms and the human spirit is unbreakable.

Among the attendees, para-athletes like Pramod Bhagat, Bhavina Patel, Avani Lekhara, and Sumit Antil were present.

The presence of former Indian women’s hockey team captain Rani Rampal, Indian freestyle wrestler and Olympic bronze medallist, Yogeshwar Dutt, Indian professional wrestler Sarita Mor and boxer Akhil Kumar added to the special occasion.

Over 1400 participants from across 32 states and union territories including the Services Sports Control Board (SSCB) are expected to participate in the maiden Khelo India Para Games which will witness para-athletes vie for honours in seven disciplines including athletics, shooting, archery, football, badminton, table tennis and weight lifting. The events will be held across three SAI stadiums – the IG Stadium, the Shooting Range in Tughlaqabad and the JLN Stadium.

Reflecting on the Games, Anurag Thakur said, “On the occasion of the launch of the inaugural edition of the first-ever Khelo India Para Games, I would like to congratulate everyone. It is because of our Honorable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision, that Khelo India has become a household name. It has become a movement from a scheme and Khelo India was missing the Para Games for the last few years. From 2018 till date, we have had 11 Khelo India Games, we are delighted to add Para Games this year.”

“Also, for the last four years, the budget for Khelo India was Rs 3,000 crores sanctioned by the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and today, I am elated to announce that for the next five years, it has been increased to more than Rs 3300 crores,” he added.

Since 2018, a total of 11 Khelo India Games have been successfully held. This included 5 Khelo India Youth Games, 3 Khelo India University Games and 3 Khelo India Winter Games.

Thakur expressed that these Games have been instrumental in identifying talent across the country and have aided in India’s performance at the prestigious multi-discipline events. Now, with the first-ever Khelo India Para Games, talented para-athletes keen on pursuing a career in para sports can be identified and further assisted in bringing desirable results for the country.

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