South Asian Games: Centre bears air travel fee of Afghan team

South Asian Games: Centre bears air travel fee of Afghan team

The centre actually went “out of the way” to help Afghanistan send in a sizable contingent to the 12th South Asian Games being held at Guwahati and Shillong.

Sport Ministry sources have confirmed to Deccan Herald that India bore the cost of flying in the Afghan contingent.“Afghanistan initially wanted to send a smaller team since they had some fund crunch. The matter was discussed at the highest level between both countries.

Their contingent was brought in from Kabul via New Delhi to Guwahati almost for free apart from some incidentals. This is perhaps the first time in the history of the games that such a positive initiative was taken to help a neighbouring nation participate to its full strength.

Indian Sports and Youth affairs ministry had been helping Afghanistan in sports and youth development” a senior official from the Union Sports and Youth Affairs Ministry told Deccan Herald on the sidelines of the ongoing 12th South Asian Games on Saturday. During the inauguration of the 12th South Asian Games in Guwahati, Modi’s diplomacy stood a class apart when water was brought in urns from eight different rivers of the eight Saarc countries and poured together in a bigger urn. This symbolic act touched everyone present at the Saru Sajai Indira Gandhi Stadium.

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