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DEVELOPMENT OF NORTHEAST IS PRIORITY : PRIME MINISTER

P. S. Madan Kumar

Northeast India echoed the games moto of peace, prosperity and progress as Prime Minister Narendra Modi declared the 12th South Asian Games open in Guwahati on 5th February, 2016. Mr. Modi hoped, the Games signifying the three Ts of teamwork, togetherness, and talent would bring together the people of South Asia like never before. The Games are an opportunity for the region to explore opportunities of growth. Prime minister said, all South Asian countries are partners in our journey towards development and his vision for South Asia is the same as his vision for India – “Sabka Saath, Sabka Vikas.”

Signifying regional solidarity, athletes from South Asian countries merged together water brought in urns from the Kabul river in Afghanistan, Sindhu in Pakistan, Brahmaputra from India, Kosi in Nepal, Manas in Bhutan, Padma in Bangladesh, the Mahaweli river in Sri Lanka and a lake in Maldives as no rivers exist there.

The rich and diverse culture of India's Northeast was paraded in all its splendour at the colourful opening ceremony. The sacred Games torch was brought to the stadium by ace shooter Gagan Narang, who then handed it over to renowned table tennis player from Assam, Monalisa Mehta Barua. Ghosal, India’s captain took the oath on behalf of the participating athletes to play in a fair manner observing rules and regulations. Other highlights included the digital lighting of the Games' flag by former Indian football captain Bhaichung Bhutia. He took the Games torch that changed hands from Gagan Narang, Monalisa Baruah, Bhogeshwar Barua, Rani Rampal, Krishna Poonia and Anju Booby George.

 

The Games song written by late Bhupen Hazarika 'Ei Prithvi ek Krirangan (the whole world is a playground) lent music to ears elevating the spirits of spectators and participating athletes alike. Also, the well-known 'Shillong Choir' performed its own version of 'Vande Mataram and A.R Rahman’s “Jay ho” won cheers from the crowd.