Maharashtra is hosting the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games from January 9 to 20. Total 12,000 sportspersons and officials will be active in the 18 sporting disciplines. All the events will be played in Pune barring boys which will be held in Mumbai. There are under-17 and under-21 age categories. The performers will be provided with financial and infrastructural assistance to achieve the sporting aspirations. Maharashtra has won the hosting rights for the second edition of Khelo India Youth Games. In the age of technology, where our youth is increasingly entangled in the clutches of cyber slavery, they aim to groom a strong sports culture in the country. Tawde informed that the event budget is Rs 40 crores and 80% of which is spent on infrastructure Upgradation of the venues. The remaining part will be used in conducting events and hospitality for the athletes and officials. “We have upgraded infrastructure and made good arrangements for the players. There accommodation has been reserved in good hotels, meals will be certified by nutritional experts and there will be round the clock physiotherapist and medical assistance. The current state government has taken many measures to improve standard of sports like giving bonus marks to sportspersons in exams, reservation in jobs to national players and direct employment to international players from the state. The opening ceremony will be held at Balewadi Sports Complex in Pune today and would be graced by the presence of Union Minister of Sports and Youth Welfare Rajyavardha Rathore, Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis and Tawde. But now government has many initiatives for sportspersons and Khelo India will give platform to compete with themselves. While most of the sporting disciplines will be conducted at the Balewadi Sports Complex, archery, football and hockey will be conducted at different venues. Archery will be conducted at the Army Sports Institute while football matches will be played at two grounds in Mamurdi and Police Ground Shivaji Nagar, Pune. Boys hockey matches will be played at the MHA Mahindra Hockey Stadium Mumbai, while the girls hockey matches will be played at the NDA Hockey ground in Pune. Around 350 hockey players and officials will be hosted in Mumbai.