Kiren Rijiju lauds Sony Pictures’ contribution to motivating Olympic-bound athletes
Union Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports, Kiren Rijiju, on Friday appreciated the work done by Sony Pictures Networks India-the official broadcasters of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games-for creating specialised content to support and motivate Indian athletes competing in the quadrennial showpiece.
With the Olympics three weeks away, Sony Pictures Sports Network (SPSN), along with luminaries from diverse fields, have undertaken several ‘best wishes initiatives’ to rally the support of the country for the Indian contingent.
SPSN will launch ‘India’s Quest for Gold with Kiren Rijiju’, an interview with the minister, on July 3, which will be telecast on Sony Six and Sony Ten 3 channels.
Rijiju will talk about the impact of the pandemic, athletes’ preparations through online training during the past year, Target Olympic Podium Scheme (TOPS) and the viability of hosting the Olympics in the future, among others.
“I am very happy that as official broadcasters of the Olympic Games, Sony Pictures Networks India has created specialised programming to support and motivate Indian athletes. The Hum Honge Kamyab campaign is a wonderful initiative to galvanise icons from all walks of life to rally behind the Indian contingent.
“The Government of India has also launched the #Cheer4India campaign envisioned by Honourable PM Shri. Narendra Modi, through which we are conducting various activities across the country to create awareness about our athletes and to garner support for them,” said Rijiju in a statement on Friday.
“With the combined effort of all stakeholders, I am sure that as a nation we will be able to create an atmosphere of enthusiasm that will truly energise our athletes to give their best at Tokyo.”
SPSN has collaborated with the ministry as well as eminent personalities such as the Chief of Defence Staff, General Bipin Rawat, MD & CEO, Sony Pictures Networks India, NP Singh, along with Bollywood personalities, renowned sportspersons, cricketers and coaches to “catalyse the Olympics momentum in the nation for the landmark event”.
SPSN has put together a series of ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’ films, which have been led by these eminent personalities sending their wishes to the Indian contingent.
A seven-episode series, titled ‘The Torchbearers’ will be telecast Friday, Saturday and Sunday starting July 9 on Sony Six, Sony Ten 1 and Sony Ten 3 to celebrate the country’s heroes travelling to Tokyo. The episodes will feature athletes revisiting their journeys to secure their place in the Olympics. The programme will feature athletes such as javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra, fencer Bhavani Devi, shooters Manu Bhaker and Abhishek Verma and shot-putter Tejinder Toor, and several others narrate their journeys.
“While every Indian knows about the stature of the tournament (Olympics), few are aware about the athletes who represent our country. We are delighted that our campaign, ‘Hum Honge Kamyab’ has received such an overwhelming response. Our attempt is to convey our best wishes to the Indian contingent and are looking forward to a splendid performance at Olympic Games,” said NP Singh, CEO and MD, Sony Pictures Networks India.
Will stand with wrestlers till justice is not delivered: Cong
Hours after Union Sports Minister Anurag Thakur called the wrestlers for a meeting, the Congress on Wednesday took swipe at the BJP government for remaining silent on the harassment of the players, and said that the grand old party “will stand with the daughters till the time justice is not delivered”.
Addressing a press conference here, Congress leader Deepender Singh Hooda, when asked about the Union Sports Minister calling wrestlers for a meeting, said, “Congress will support the daughters till justice is not delivered to them. It is unfortunate that the government is treating the daughters with step motherly treatment as the wrestlers have to knock on the Supreme Court doors for registering an FIR.”
Hooda said that it’s been one and half months and the government and the Delhi Police have not made any arrest.
“Isn’t it the first case where the accused have not been arrested. In such an FIR with serious charges, it is the first example that no arrest has been done as one BJP MP is named as an accused. What kind of example the government is setting. What kind of standard they are laying?”
The Rajya Sabha MP said that the government remained silent when the wrestlers went to immerse their medals in the Ganga in Haridwar.
“Why was the sports Minister silent and no one from the government issued any statement urging them to stop their act of immersing their medals? And even selective leaks are being made in the media to harm their protest,” he said.
“Whatever stand our daughters take after the meeting we will listen to that and will ensure that we stand with them for justice,” he added.
His remarks came after Thakur on Wednesday invited the wrestlers for a meeting to have discussion.
Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia at Minister Anurag Thakur’s residence for talks
Protesting wrestlers Bajrang Punia and Sakshi Malik arrived at the residence of Sports Minister Anurag Singh Thakur on Wednesday.
Sakshi came along with her husband Satyawart Kadian, an Arjuna awardee. Olympian Vinesh Phogat was missing though her husband Somveer Rathi was seen entering the minister’s residence.
The protesting wrestlers have been invited by the government for the second time days after they met Home Minister Amit Shah.
In January, too, the wrestlers met Anurag Thakur at his residence and called off their protest after a committee was formed. At that time, former wrestler and BJP leader Babita Phogat played the mediator’s role.
Earlier, talking to Wednesday, Sakshi Malik said, “We will keep everything open. We won’t take any decision behind closed doors. We will discuss the proposal given by the government with our seniors and supporters and only when everyone gives their consent that the proposal is fine, then will we agree.”
Protesting wrestlers to discard their medals in Ganga river today at 6pm, sit on hunger strike at India Gate
The protesting wrestlers demanding the arrest of Wrestling Federation of India (WFI) chief Brij Bhushan Singh over sexual allegations have threatened to discard their coveted medals in Ganga river in Haridwar on Tuesday at 6 pm. Their announcement came as the Delhi Police cleared all the signs of the wrestlers’ month-long protest.
The likes of Sakshi Malik, Bajrang Punia, Vinesh Poghat, and Satyawart Kadian have been protesting for over a month, asking for Brij Bhushan Singh’s arrest over sexual allegations of female athletes, including a minor. On May 28th, all the wrestlers suffered ill treatment from the police officials as they were dragged relentlessly, prompting an outrage among social media users over the behaviour towards the athletes.
On the same day, the police officials entered the wrestlers’ tents at Jantar Mantar in Delhi to destroy them. Sakshi Malik, an Olympic Bronze medalist and one of the protestors condemned it by posting a clip on Twitter. She wrote on Twitter, stating ‘After arresting all the wrestlers and old people, the cops have started to destroy our march. Our things have been started lifting. What kind of hooliganism is this?’
Hence, Malik, on Tuesday, issued a lengthy statement on Twitter in Hindi, announcing to dispose of their medals in Ganga river. ‘These medals are our lives, our souls. There would be no reason to live after throwing them in the Ganga today. So, we will stage a hunger strike until death at India Gate after that.’
While Malik has an Olympic bronze medal won in 2016, wrestler Vinesh Poghat has two commonwealth golds, one Asian Games gold medal. She was also crowned Asian Champion in 2021 and won the World Championships Bronze in 2021. Meanwhile, Bajrang Punia won a bronze in the Tokyo Olympics in 2020. He also went on to win bronze in 2013, silver in 2018, and bronze in 2019.
Police officials blocked the wrestlers’ march towards the parliament on Sunday:
On the day of the new Parliament building’s opening, the protest produced devastating images as Delhi Police cracked down on them in the middle of their march.
Hundreds of police officers and paramilitary people obstructed the wrestlers’ protest march as they attempted to progress towards the new Parliament House. A violent altercation between wrestlers and police officers occurred as the demonstrators attempted to break through the security perimeter.
Leading members of the opposition, such as Rahul Gandhi of the Congress, Priyanka Gandhi Vadra, Arvind Kejriwal of Delhi, and Mamata Banerjee of West Bengal, have criticised the central government for staying mum over Brij Bhushan Singh.
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