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Himanta Biswa Sarma launches mascot for the Khelo India University Games 2023

Guwahati, Feb 8 2024-

Taking the anticipation and excitement up a notch ahead of the fourth edition of the Khelo India University Games 2023, Assam Chief Minister Himanta Biswa Sarma launched the logo and mascot Ashtalakshmi – the vibrant butterfly — at a glittering ceremony held in Guwahati on Thursday.

Ashtalakshmi, an embodiment of grace and symbolism, represents the rich biodiversity and natural splendour of Northeast India. This elegant butterfly adorned with wings featuring cultural motifs and colours from each scale, the mascot depicts a visually captivating representation of the diverse beauty of Northeast India.

Among the attendees were Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, Nandita Garlosa, Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare, Government of Assam, Kausar Jamil Hilaly, Secretary, Sports and Youth Welfare Department, Government of Assam, along with a host of sports organisers, athletes from across the eight Northeastern states.

The presence of Northeast’s sports icons, national medal-winning boxer Pwilao Basumatary, international shuttler Suraj Goala, international table tennis player Divyaj Rajkhowa, Tripura judoka Rikson Debbarma, added to the special occasion.

Reflecting on Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision of investing in youth through sports, Sarma said: “Assam has

been the sports destination of the Northeast, having successfully hosted mega events like the Southeast Asian Games, the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games and most recently the Khel Maharan where over 6 lakh youth registered to participate. With Olympic

stars like Lovlina Borgohain hailing from our state, our focus on youth development has been at the forefront of our efforts to put Assam on the world map.”

“As Chief Minister, I express my government’s unparalleled support in organising this mega event which personifies our beloved Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi’s vision of investing in our youth through sports. We look forward to welcoming over 5,000 participants and delegates for this prestigious event,” added Sarma.

Speaking on the occasion, Nisith Pramanik, Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India, said: “As we eagerly anticipate the Khelo India University Games 2023, it’s heartening to witness the resolute backing from Hon’ble Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s visionary initiative aimed at cultivating a thriving sporting culture across the nation.

“Under the astute guidance of Assam Chief Minister Shri Himanta Biswa Sarma, the state emerges as a beacon for sporting excellence, committed to nurturing talent and instilling values of sportsmanship,” the Minister said. “Drawing inspiration from the remarkable achievements of athletes who have soared to prominence through platforms like the Asian Games, we recognise the transformative power of sports in shaping lives and transcending boundaries,” he added.

Assam will host a total of 16 disciplines during the Khelo India University Games 2023, reflecting the state’s dedication to providing world-class sporting infrastructure. This will include athletics, rugby, basketball, volleyball, swimming, badminton, hockey, fencing, kabaddi, football, tennis, mallakhamb, judo, table tennis, boxing, and shooting.

The rest of the Northeastern states will play host to four events, including men’s boxing, weightlifting, wrestling and yogasana. (Agency)

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