Af­ford­ing sport an ex­alted sta­tus!

Sportstar - - INTERVIEW ODISHA CM - IPSIT MOHAPATRA

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

BISWARANJAN ROUT

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.

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