• Mon. Dec 11th, 2023

The medals and performance will inspire the country’s youth: Rajnath Singh

Defence Minister Rajnath Singh, on October 17, 2023, felicitated medal winners, participants and support staff from the Armed Forces, who took part in the recently concluded 19th Asian Games at Hangzhou, China.

The Defence Minister interacted with a total of 76 players and staff, who attended the event in New Delhi, and congratulated them for their excellent display at the Games.


On behalf of the Ministry of Defence, Rajnath Singh announced cash prizes to the Armed Forces personnel, who brought laurels to the country and once again proved their mettle at an international event, by bagging 16 individual medals (03 Gold, 06 Silver & 07 Bronze) and eight team medals (02 Gold, 03 Silver & 03 Bronze) at the Games. Gold medal winners will be given Rs 25 lakh; Silver medal winners will get Rs 15 lakh and Bronze medal winners will be awarded Rs 10 lakh. A contingent of 88 soldiers, including three sportswomen, participated in 18 disciplines at the Games, which were held from September 23 to October 08, 2023.

In his address, the Defence Minister lauded the efforts of the players, including those who gave their best, but could not win the medals. He reminded them of Flying Sikh Milkha Singh, who missed a medal in the 400- metre race in the 1960 Olympics in Rome by a whisker, but became a guiding star of Indian athletics. Milkha Singh is an inspiration for all even today, he said.

Rajnath Singh exuded confidence that these medals and performance will inspire the country’s youth to come forward in sports. “You are not just representing a medal, but are also representing a narrative of excellence of Indian society. You are a great medium to provide inspiration to the youth,” he told the players.

The Defence Minister commended the Armed Forces personnel for always being among the medal winners at
different Games. “Be it a battlefield or a playground, a soldier always performs because of dedication, discipline, hard work and the desire to do something for the nation. These virtues help in bringing medals for us in sports. Within a soldier, there is a player; within a player, there is a soldier,” he said.

Rajnath Singh also pointed out that the performance of the players reflected the image of a rapidly growing and powerful ‘New India’. “Many studies show that the progress in sports of any nation is more or less proportional to the economic prosperity of that country. In this context, as India is becoming an
economically strong nation, our medals are also increasing in every field,” he said.

The Defence Minister emphasised that, under the visionary leadership of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, India is witnessing growth in every field such as defence, infrastructure, health and education. “Be it the World Bank or the International Monetary Fund, India’s development journey is being discussed everywhere.

Recently, American financial company JP Morgan Chase released the ‘Government Bond Index – Emerging Markets’ which guides investors. It has included India for the first time. It is the result of our growing economic strength. Now, there is an ambition to become the best; a vision to create the best and action to take the country to greater heights. The world is today recognising India’s growth story,” he stated.

Rajnath Singh asserted that the government is making relentless efforts to develop sports culture in India.

“On one hand, we have worked to increase awareness about sports among the youth through Fit India and Khelo India campaigns; on the other, through the Target Olympic Podium Scheme, we are committed to increasing India’s medal count in the Olympics. Today, our country is taking steps to host the Olympic Games in 2036. I am confident that with the support of the Government, our athletes will take India to the top of the medals tally through their hard work, dedication and passion,” he said.

The felicitation ceremony was attended by Chief of Defence Staff General Anil Chauhan, Chief of the Air Staff Air Chief Marshal VR Chaudhari, Chief of the Army Staff General Manoj Pande, Vice Chief of the Naval Staff Vice Admiral Sanjay Jasjit Singh and senior officers of Sports Control Board of respective services.

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