The official ceremonial and competition outfits of the Indian contingent for the upcoming Asian Games were unveiled here on Tuesday at the official send-off ceremony with an emphasis on sustainability and recycling of resources.
Union Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur, accompanied by Indian Olympic Association president PT Usha, did the unveiling with Indian hockey stars Savita Punia and PR Sreejesh donning the khaki ceremonial kits on the occasion and others, including shooter Manu Bhaker and shotputter Tajinderpal Singh Toor, wearing the competition and training outfits.
Conceived and uniquely designed by the National Institute of Fashion Technology, the ceremonial dress includes a khaki textured saree for women and a khaki kurta for male players.
The bandhgala jacket of male athletes and the high neck blouse for the women seamlessly blend Indian motifs and prints with quintessential Indian silhouettes that represent the rich cultural tapestry of India on the global stage. The attire embraces nature with recycled fabrics that promote sustainability.
“It is good to talk about 100 medals or more, but every athlete is selected on merit. And the Prime Minister has said that when you represent 140 cr people of the country, you have to give your best at all times and medals and success will come by itself,” Thakur said, referring to the official slogan ‘Abki baar 100 paar’.
“India has achieved a lot in the last six months in sports and all of it has made every Indian proud -- whether Antim Panghal’s back-to-back gold at the Under-20 World Championships in wrestling or four gold medals in women’s boxing World Championships or Saff title in football or the Junior Asia Cup titles for both men and women in hockey or the men’s hockey Asian Champions Trophy or Aditi Swami’s archery title or the most recent World Cup final by R. Praggnanandha -- all of it has been heartening. But this is just the beginning,” he added.
He also revealed that the budget for Khelo India had been increased by 675 crores for the next three years along with approval for 250 more Khelo India centres in addition to the 1000 targeted for this year.
PT Usha said she expects every member of the contingent to make the best effort to make India proud. “We have waited long for the 2022 Asian Games and are delighted that India is sending its largest contingent of 634 athletes. We believe that this squad has the potential to get India its best medal haul as well,” she said.
“In the IOA, we have made every effort to place the athlete in the centre of our universe and ensure that they are well looked after.”
With 33 members, rowing has the largest unit after athletics going to Hangzhou to stake claim at the medal. Meanwhile, a 15-member Esports team will also be at the Asian Games as the event makes its official debut.
The Indian contingent clinched 70 medals, including 16 gold, in the last edition of the Asian Games held in 2018.
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