CHANDIGARH, DEC 3 :With smart turn out Chattisgarh won the march past trophy on the opening day of the 17th All India Forest Games and Sports Meet at the Panjab University Campus here today. Jammu and Kashmir received the runners-up. Hosts Punjab had to remain themselves satisfied with the third place.
In a kabaddi league match, Tamil Nadu defeated Gujarat by 96-35 points while Chhattisgarh walked over Maharashtra.Gujarat defeated Jammu & Kashmir by 3-0 in a volleyball match.
In a cricket mtch Gujarat defeated Meghalaya by eight runs. Batting first Gujarat scored 103 while Meghalaya could muster only 95 runs.
Earlier, Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal inaugurated the games amidst a colourful start. Punjab Forest and Wildlife Preservation Minister PunjabTikshan Sud presided over the function. Beijing Olympics gold medalist shooter Abhinav Bindra was the guest of honour. Director General Forests, Government of India P R Mohanty, PU Vice Chancellor Dr. R.C. Sobti, Chairman Punjab State Forest Development Corporation Satya Pal Saini, also graced the occasion.
The Chief Minister highly praised the interest of forest officers and officials in games and said that since the duties and responsibilities of the forest personnel were important in the preservation of environment, therefore games are necessary for their own fitness. The CM said that. Abhinav Bindra had made the State and the nation proud by winning the first ever individual Olympic gold medal. He described Abhinav Bindra an inspirational source for the budding sportspersons.
Mr Badal said that the Government should form a sportspolicy that could help identify the budding sportspersons and initiate steps to improve their sporting skills and help them achieve distinctions in sports.
Mr Tikshan Sud said the games unite all those who are working for the conservation and development of forests in India and also cultivate the spirit of pride and freedom and also give birth to true spirit of sportsmanship.
Meanwhile, the Games torch was lit by a team consisting of . Kulvinder Bhullar the most time Gold medal winner at Forest Games for Punjab State, Nidhi Srivastava , Davinderpal Singh and Baljinder Singh. On this occasion, the Chief Minister released a souvenir of the 17th Forest Games and Sports Meet.