“Many Punjabi youths are falling prey to drugs. This is one of the major reasons why Punjabis are not performing at par with their Haryana counterparts in international tournaments,” Dharmendra told reporters here Tuesday.
“I appeal to Punjab youths to stay away from drugs and divert their minds by indulging in tough games that require a lot of energy. I have come to Punjab to inaugurate an international-level wrestling tournament and I am very happy to become part of this initiative,” he added.
Dharmendra, who was known as ‘Garam-Dharam’ in Bollywood, will inaugurate a Feb 10-12 wrestling event Shaheed Bahagat Singh International Wrestling Tournament, at Jalandhar.
According to the organisers, as many as 300 wrestlers from 20 countries are participating in the cash-rich tournament in which Rs.30 lakh would be distributed among the top three players.
Dharmendra had spent his early life in Punjab’s Sahnewal village which has now become a town near Punjab’s industrial city Ludhiana. His father was a school headmaster.
Dharmendra also had some advice for the Indian cricket team for the forthcoming World Cup.
“I wish them best of luck. I want India to repeat the 1983 feat of Kapil Dev-led team. They should play with full aggression and then sky would be the limit for them,” he said.