Sonowal pats Sangma for SAG preparations

Curtain raiser to 12th South Asian Games in city lGames jingle released

Union Minister of State for Sports and Youth Affairs Sarbananda Sonowal accompanied by Chief Minister Mukul Sangma and Sports and Youth Affairs Minister Zenith Sangma launches a commemorative stamp of the 12th South Asian Games at the State Convention Centre in city on Tuesday. (MIPR)

SHILLONG: In a curtain raiser for the 12th South Asian Games 2016 to be co-hosted by Shillong and Guwahati from February 5 to16, Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) of Youth Affairs and Sports, Sarbananda Sonowal and Chief Mukul Sangma released the official Games jingle, “Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangan” (The world is a playground) by the legendary Bhupen Hazarika and Special Cover and ‘My Stamp by India Post’ at the State Convention Centre here on Tuesday.
Addressing the gathering, Sonowal lauded the efforts of the State Government is hosting of the South Asian Games.
The Union Minister of State said that the upcoming SAG will be the biggest sporting extravaganza in the North East and both Guwahati and Shillong are ready to welcome athletes from across South Asia.
Reiterating that this will be the most “gender equal” Games in the history of the event, Sonowal said that he was privileged to, “join the hands of two beautiful states to host the South Asian Games.”
“I am fully confident that the objective of the Games, that is to ‘Play for Peace, Progress and Prosperity’ will be fully realised. It is a happy coincidence that this South Asian Games is the first gender equal Games. This inclusive character and gender sensitive spirit are consistent with our ethos which is respect for women in all spheres of life,” Sonowal said.
He also praised Chief Minister Mukul Sangma for his efforts in preparing Meghalaya for hosting the South Asian Games.
“The Chief Minister has taken a lot of pain to make Shillong ready (for co-hosting the Games). His able leadership has led us this far and we are now ready to welcome the athletes,” Sonowal said adding that Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also a massive supporter of the 12th South Asian Games as promoting the North East has always been important to him.
Chief Minister Mukul Sangma, in his speech, said that it was a great privilege for the people of both states and the region to host the Games.
He also thanked the Union Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports who “persisted with the agenda of hosting the Games in the North East.”
“People in the region are passionate sports lovers. It is a rare privilege to be able to host Games at the international level and we hope that the athletes go back with memories that will make them our best ambassadors,” Sangma added.
The Chief Minister also expressed confidence that Shillong will be able to host the event in a benefiting manner.
Earlier, Sports Minister Zenith Sangma also praised the efforts of Sonowal in bringing the Games to Guwahati and Shillong. “The event will better prepare us to understand the infrastructure and other requirements for such international events in future,” Sangma said while extending an invitation to Sonowal to attend the launch of the Games in Shillong on February 6.
Meanwhile, the Games mascot, Thikor danced to the tune of “Ei Prithibi Ek Krirangan” much to the delight of all present. Sports and Youth Affairs Minister and Co-Chairman of the South Asian Games, Zenith Sangma, Urban Affairs Minister Ampareen Lyngdoh, Home Minister Roshan Warjri, Health and Family Welfare Minister AL Hek, Social Welfare Minister Deborah Marak, Chief Secretary PBO Warjri, South Asian Games CEO (Shillong) RK Sharma, Joint CEO and Sports and Youth Affairs Commissioner and Secretary FR Kharkongor and Sports and Youth Affairs Director FM Dopth were also present in the glittering ceremony which also witnessed musical performances, both traditional and contemporary.