National Sports Day or Rashtriya Khel Divas is celebrated every year on 29th August. This day marks the birthday of Indian hockey prodigy Major Dyan Chan. The purpose of celebrating National Sports Day is to celebrate Major Dhyanchand's legacy while raising awareness of the need and benefits of integrating sports and physical activity into everyday life.
National Games: History
The day was first observed in 2012 as a tribute to Major Dhyanchand. Born on August 29, 1905, Major Djanchand became one of the hockey legends. He started his career in the British Indian Army.
Major Dhyanchand was instrumental in India's three consecutive Olympic gold victories in 1928, 1932 and 1936 (1928, 1932 and 1936). He received the third highest civilian award, Padma Bhushan, in 1956. In 1979, India's post minister issued a special stamp to honor the hockey wizard.
National Games: Importance
The purpose of National Sports Day is to promote awareness of the importance of exercise and the benefits of physical activity in your life. Various events with the theme of popularizing folk sports were held throughout the country.
Arjuna Award, Dhyana Chan Award, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna and Dronacharya Award among others were conferred on the country's outstanding sportspersons on the day. The award was presented by the President of India at a ceremony at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.
However, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the National Games celebrations have been muted for the past two years.