Prime Minister Narendra Modi, on Saturday, paid tribute to Indian hockey legend Major Dhyan Chand on his birth 115th anniversary, stating that 'his magic with the hockey stick can never be forgotten'.
On August 29, India celebrates National Sports Day to commemorate the birth anniversary of hockey wizard Dhyan Chand.
Paying his tribute to the Indian hockey wizard, Prime Minister Modi tweeted, "Today, on National Sports Day, we pay tributes to Major Dhyan Chand, whose magic with the hockey stick can never be forgotten. This is also a day to laud the outstanding support given by the families, coaches, and support staff towards the success of our talented athletes."
He said National Sports Day is "a day to celebrate the remarkable achievements of all those exemplary sportspersons who have represented India in various sports and made our nation proud. Their tenacity and determination are outstanding."
Union Minister of Youth and Sports Kiren Rijiju paid floral tribute to "the Wizard of Indian Hockey" Major Dhyan Chand on his 115th birth anniversary.
Rijiju paid his respects to Major Dhyan Chand at the Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium named after the Olympian. The Sports Minister said that the legendary hockey player had displayed unparalleled dedication and skills in the game to bring accolades and honour to India.
"Today is National Sports Day and I pay my tribute to the 'The Wizard of Indian Hockey' Major Dhyan Chand on his Birth Anniversary. The great sportsman displayed unparalleled dedication and skills in Hockey to bring accolades and honour to India Flag of India," he tweeted.
He further informed that a decision to increase prize money for sports and adventure awards has been taken and prize money for Arjuna Award and Khel Ratna Award has been increased to Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 25 lakhs, respectively.
"We have taken a decision to increase prize money for sports and adventure awards. Prize money for sports awards has already been increased. Prize money for Arjuna Award and Khel Ratna Award has been increased to Rs 15 lakhs and Rs 25 lakhs respectively," he told reporters.
The Prime Minister asserted that the government is making all efforts to popularise sports and support sporting talent in the country.
"Government of India is making numerous efforts to popularise sports and support sporting talent in India. At the same time, I urge everyone to make sports and fitness exercises a part of their daily routine. There are many benefits of doing so. May everyone be happy and healthy," he said in a subsequent tweet.
The legendary hockey player Dhyan Chand was born in 1905 and was known for his magical hockey skills. He was part of the Indian hockey team which struck gold in the Olympics of 1928, 1932, and, 1936.
National Sports Awards which include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award, the Arjuna award, the Dronacharya award, and the Dhyan Chand award, are conferred on athletes every year by the President of India at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29, the National Sports Day.
However, this year, the names would be announced by President Ram Nath Kovind virtually.