Affording sport an exalted status!
In the runup to the men’s hockey World Cup in Bhubaneswar, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik speaks of the state’s passionate support for the game. He also shares Odisha’s desire to be the country’s sports hub.
This sporty avatar of Odisha is very different from when you took charge of the state 18 years ago. What made you focus on this transformation? Was it the success of Odisha sportspersons nationally and internationally?
There is a transformation of Odisha in every sector today, which is quite evident in the improvement of various parameters compared to 1■ years ago. We have been focusing on the main social and economic development schemes for a long time. In recent years, we have been trying to focus on sports as well, especially in view of the potential of our talented youth and the achievements of our sportspersons in various fora. We believe that there is a vast, hidden sporting talent in the state which needs to be nurtured and mentored in a systematic manner.
What is the message and vibe you want Odisha to send out to the world
The silverware: Naveen Patnaik, the chief minister of Odisha, unveils the men’s hockey World Cup trophy at the Kalinga Stadium. Odisha is promoting sport big time.