Unity in Diversity Dominates KIYG Opening Ceremony
The third edition of the Khelo India Youth Games got off to an emotional start here on Friday evening, with lakhs of television viewers joining over 25,000 spectators at the Indira Gandhi Stadium to celebrate the spirit of One India.
Chief Minister of Assam, Sarbananda Sonowal and Union Youth Affairs & Sports Minister, Kiren Rijiju launched the Games during a spectacular opening ceremony that included a high-tech laser show and wholesome entertainment.
In a unique show of solidarity, top athletes from all the seven northeastern states joined Assam’s champion athletes in the final torch relay before star sprinter Hima Das lit the symbolic Games Flame. Every segment was carefully planned to showcase India’s unity within its diversity.
“I welcome all athletes from Kashmir to Kanyakumari, from Arunachal to Gujarat. Over the next 13 days, showcase your talent to the best of your ability because the entire nation is looking forward to seeing you play and bloom,” CM Sonowal said, encouraging the future stars of India.
Close to 6,800 athletes from 37 states/union territories will compete in Guwahati, which has been decked up like a bride, over the next fortnight hoping to grab medals, scholarships and greater glory across 20 sports disciplines.
"I want to assure Assam that the government of India will extend every support to realise its dream of becoming the sports capital of the country,” union minister Rijiju said, while lauding the state’s efforts to host the spectacular event.
The colourful opening ceremony, which saw over 400+ cast members, 400+ technical and support staff, wowed the audience with its creativity and innovativeness.
Using the mighty Brahmaputra as the backdrop, in the form of waving girls, scores of youngsters danced and blended into various contours and shapes to tell a fascinating tale. Every aspect of Assam and its most famous exports were showcased before everybody moulded into the map of the country, to once again highlight the grand idea called One India.
The opening ceremony also gave a glimpse of the 20 sporting disciplines in a unique manner, with a dancing troupe putting up an energetic performance to indicate the many battles over the next few days. The entire playing turf and the stands in the background turned into props, becoming a mesmerising collage of light and colour.
Bollywood’s popular singer and music composer Shankar Mahadevan then took the stage, entertaining the audience with a number of hits, each underscoring the importance of One India. The National Anthem rendered by the Assam Rifles Band, the introduction of the mascots while the games’ theme song played, indeed each and everything seamlessly meshed into one powerful message: India is One.