Colourful start to 12th South Asian Games 2016.
Guwahati, Assam [Feb 2016]
Amid the display of the full cultural diversity of
the North East region, Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the 12th
edition the South Asian Games open in the presence of a capacity crowd
at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium at Sarusajai here today (5th
The National Anthem was played soon after the Prime Minister was welcomed by bugle played by the SSB. Thereafter the contingents of the participating nations - Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and India - did the march past amid applause from the crowd. This was proceeded by a pictorial presentation on Rangghar, the first sports pavilion in Asia.
Inaugurating the 12-day Games, the Prime Minister said the SAG will definitely help in building nations and urged all the South Asian countries to work together for prosperity.
Terming sports as an important platform to build teamwork, Modi said without sports no sportsman spirit could be possible. The SA Games will provide an opportunity to usher in peace and develop friendship among the South Asian nations, he said.
The Prime Minister also recalled the legendary Dr Bhupen Hazarika's contribution towards integration of the various communities of the region. The theme song of the Games is a composition by Dr Hazarika.
Modi also urged the youngsters to be as smart and intelligent as 'Tikhor', mascot of the Games, which will help in building nation.
The Prime Minister also hoped that the prestigious U-17 Football World Cup, to be held here in 2017, will also be organised in a befitting manner.
Earlier, India Olympic Association president M Ramachandran welcomed the participating teams and the gathering.
Addressing the gathering, Union Sports Minister and chairman of the organising committee Sarbananda Sonowal hoped that this mega sporting event will bring glory to this part of the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi said the State Government is giving priority to the development of games and sports.
Meghalaya Chief Minister Dr Mukul Sangma, in his speech, urged the State governments of this region and the Central government to extend support in tapping the sports talent of the region.
The Games torch was carried by international sporting stars Gagan Narang, Monalisa Baruah Mehta, Bhogeswar Baruah, Rani Rampal, Krishna Punia, Anju Bobby George and finally by Indian football hero Baichung Bhutia, who lit the Games flame.
After raising the Games flag, a spectacular cultural function was held where all the traditional dances of this region were displayed. All the leading singers of the State presented their popular numbers.
Courtesy: by VOA team/Internet