Nashik, Nov 28: President Pratibha Devisingh Patil has said sports can be used for creating peace and harmony among people at the global level with competitions such as the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games.
''Games or sports also cultivate other values such as sportsmanship, endurance, harmony and teach you to respect others.
They also teach you to appreciate others. These values can be useful in creating peace and harmony in the outside world,'' Ms Patil yesterday said while addressing the audience after inaugurating the 11th Ashwamedh Inter-university Sports competition, organised by the Yashwantrao Chavan Open Univeristy (YCMOU), here.
The President added that with this very motive, games such as the Olympics, the Commonwealth Games are organised and the same motive was behind organising the Ashwamedh games. She urged other states to follow the example of Maharashtra and organise sporting events such as 'Ashwamedh'.
Admiring the AIDS awareness drive which is synonymous with the Ashwamedh, Ms Patil said such drive helps spread awareness about the disease at the college level and lauded the state's commitment to organise the games for the past 11 years.
She advised the participants to perform better as they were the 'Future of India' and their performance at the Ashwamedh would make them compete at the global level and ultimately make the nation proud.
Speaking on the occasion, Maharashtra Governor S M Krishna said the projects such as Ashwamedh (sports), Indradhanush (cultural), Avishkar were gateways to the Olympics, Oscar and Nobel awards.
Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh highlighted the state's efforts to develop sports facilities to create good sportspersons, saying the state has allocated Rs 100 crore in the budget to develop the facilities at the district and taluka levels.
He said the objective behind organising these games was to produce good and cultured sportspersons.
Earlier, a souvenir was released by PWD Minister Chhagan Bhujbal. A special cultural programme depicting historic moments of the Indian freedom struggle from 1857 to 1947 was presented by renowned actor Adesh Bandekar with the help of local artistes. Sir John Daniel, president of Commnwealth of Learnig, Canada was the special quest on the occasion.
The games will be on till November 30, in which as many as 1,500 sportpersons from 19 universities would be participating.
An AIDS awareness rally will be held on the World AIDS Day (December 1) as part of the games.
The sport flame of 'Ashwamedh' 07 was lighted by the President.
Minister of State for Medical Education, Higher and Technical Education, Tourism and Special Assistance Suresh Shetty, Minister of Energy Dilip Walse-Patil were also present on the occasion.