Modi’s ‘Make in India’ enters Rio Games village


India’s Olympic dreams are getting a ‘Make in India’ touch. Unlike in previous Games, Indian athletes, this time, will have no room to complain about food.In the past, Indian contingent had to eat whatever was available at the Games Village. Not in Rio. In Brazil, they will get to eat what they like. Dal makhni, chana masala, mattar paneer, mixed vegetables, meat or egg preparations… you name it, everything will be there. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been doing every bit to boost the morale of the Indian contingent to the Rio Olympics, scheduled to begin on August 5.Shortly before flagging off the ‘Run for Rio’ in New Delhi’s Major Dhyan Chand National Stadium on Sunday to support the largest-ever Indian contingent for the summer games, Modi said that Indian athletes will get to eat desi food. And then, he served a dessert, which was sweeter than the main course: a raise in allowance.”Earlier, bureaucrats accompanying contingents used to get an allowance of $100 per day while players got half of it. For the first time, players are also going to be on par,” said Modi.The Indian contingent this time is being accompanied by two ITC chefs. They will be joined by more, already arranged by the Indian embassy in Brazil.That’s not all. The Modi government has more to ensure that acche din are coming to Indian athletes. “Earlier, our players used to reach the venue two days ahead of the Games and it was always a daunting task to get acclimatised. This time, we have sent them 15 days before the Games. We also provided a special budget to provide Indian food to our athletes there,” said Modi.”Every player has worked hard to get here. The Centre will ensure that Indian athletes get Indian food, according to their choice and requirement,” the PM added.”In all previous Games, there were complaints from almost all players that their performances were affected as they didn’t get homely food. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) has never arranged for any specific Indian menu so far. After a special request from the Indian Olympic Association (IOA), the IOC has specifically arranged an Indian food counter at the main dining area this time,” a source said”Also, we provide them the facility to train wherever they want and the coaches of their choice. We have spent Rs 30 lakh-Rs1.5 crore per player on training. Olympic budgets earlier used to be around Rs 15-Rs 20 crore. This time it has exceeded Rs 125 crore,” Modi said.Modi also appealed to the youth to work hard for the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo and said the focus should be on sending more than 200 athletes for the next Games. He hoped that every district in India could send one athlete each to the Indian squad for the next Games

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