The true spirit of India lies in its vast and unique culture! Gandhiji had rightly said that ‘true India lives in the villages’. There are several traditional sports like Kushti, Kho-Kho, Malkhamb and others which are very popular in villages and small towns.

Similar to the modern sports like cricket, tennis, football, and hockey, which has gained popularity in the recent years; these games require strength as much as they require skill.

India is one of the youngest nations in the World, with about 65% of its population being under 35 years of age. The youth in the age group of 15-29 years comprise 27.5% of the population.

Hence, Bhartiya Janta Yuva Morcha (BJYM), which works towards the growth and empowerment of the youth, felt the need to provide quality sports infrastructure in rural and urban areas where the youth not only could showcase their talent but also promote traditional sports at national and international levels. This led to the initiative of “Khelo Bharat”.

Talking about the Khelo Bharat initiative, President of BJYM Smt Poonam Mahajan said,

“The Youth represents the most dynamic and vibrant segment of the population. This is an initiative that has been taken by us to encourage the traditional sports amongst thousands of young sportsmen and women in India. We started this program last year and the enthusiasm that you see in today’s youth is contagious. In the years to come, we hope more and more Indian youth will participate to showcase their skills”.

After a grand opening in Lucknow on 6th July 2017, the finals are being held on 24th and 25th July 2018 at Talkatora Stadium, New Delhi, where players from 27 states will be showcasing their skill.

Khelo Bharat 2018

Currently, Khelo Bharat is promoting 5 traditional games, namely, Kabaddi, Kushti, Kho-Kho, Tug of War, and Malkambh where players from all over the country will be participating.

The games were played in 27 states, covering 733 districts, and 11,165 mandals. There were 8,834 participating teams in total out of which 40 teams cleared for Semi-Finals and 20 teams for the Finals.

The objective of Khelo Bharat is not only to identify talent but also to provide guidance and nurture them through existing sports academies and new set up either by the Central Government or State Government or in PPP mode.

BJYM believes that it is pertinent that the youth is supported and encouraged to bring social cohesion and build a stable nation. The programme takes care to not only develop sports infrastructure but also provides for identification of talent as well as guiding and nurturing of the talent through assistance.

The team will also look at the creation of Sports Infrastructure at Mofussil, Tehsil, District, State levels, etc.

Supporting the cause, a lot of eminent personalities are expected to be present for the games.

Some of the expected names are Honourable Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, BJP National President Shri Amit Shah, Honourable Sports Minister Col. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore, BJYM National President Smt.

Poonam Mahajan, Abhishek Bachchan, Phogat sisters, Vijender Singh, Mary Kom, Sushil Kumar and other dignitaries to name a few.

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