Birth Anniversary of Major Dhyan Chand: India’s National Sports Day is celebrated on August 29 every year to commemorate Major Dhyan Chand, widely regarded as one of the greatest field hockey players in history. It aims to raise awareness about the importance of physical activity and healthy lifestyles. It also honors the country’s sports heroes and champions.
The first National Sports Day was observed in India on August 29, 2012. Known as the “Hockey Wizard” or the “The Magician,” Major Dhyan Chand was born on this date in 1905.
In his message to the people on National Sports Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi said that the country has been able to make significant progress in the field of sports over the years. He also paid tribute to Major Chand on his birth anniversary.
He tweeted, “Greetings on National Sports Day and tributes to Major Dhyan Chand Ji on his birth anniversary. Recent years have been great for sports. May this trend continue. May sports keep gaining popularity across India.”
National Sports Day: Significance
The primary objective of National Sports Day is to promote the importance of sports and encourage people to be physically active. To this end, the government has organized various events and programs to raise awareness about the sport’s importance.
Various awards are presented to outstanding athletes and coaches on National Sports Day. These include the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna, Dronacharya Award, the Arjuna Award, and the Dhyan Chand Award. The awards are presented by the President of India at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
Unfortunately, National Sports Day celebrations were kept low-key in the last two years due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Facts about Major Dhyan Chand
Major Chand was a member of the Indian men’s hockey team. He was born in Allhabad (now Prayagraj) on August 29, 1905, in Allahabad, Uttar Pradesh. He became known as the “Wizard of Hockey” during the pre-independence era.
He played a vital role in helping India win its first Olympic gold medal in 1928. He also played a leading role in the country’s victories at the 1936 and 1932 Summer Olympics.
After Major Chand retired from the Indian Army’s Punjab Regiment in 1956, the government of India honored him by presenting him with the Padma Bhushan, the third-highest civilian award in the country.
India’s highest sporting honour, Major Dhyan Chand Khel Ratna Award is named after him