Guwahati, Dec 13 (IANS): "Tikhor", a one-horned rhino, was unveiled as the mascot of the 12th South Asian Games, along with its logo here on Sunday in the presence of Sports Minister Sarbananda Sonowal, Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi and Meghalaya Sports Minister Zenith Sangma.
Guwahati and Shillong will jointly host the Games from February 6 to 16, next year. Kolhapur�s Anand Khasbardar and Abhijeet Krishna of National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT), Patna, won the respective contests for designing the mascot and the logo.
The logo and the mascot of the Games were selected from around 450 entries, according to the sports ministry.
The mascot "Tikhor", with traditional and sporty costumes, is shown in various panels as playing all games and welcoming every new idea in sports. He is a motivator, friend and familiar to sports lovers of the region.
Rhinos represent the fauna of Assam. The Kaziranga National Park, spread over two Assamese districts, is a refuge for the fast-disappearing Indian one-horned rhino.
Tikhor carries the message and aspiration of peace, stability, amity and progress in the South Asian region.
After the unveiling ceremony, "Tikhor" travelled around the city with bikers from the Assam Bikers Group.
The logo has eight petals representing the countries participating in the 12th South Asian Games. The petals are seen to be moving in a clockwise direction showing the positive spirit of the games.
The look also resembles a headgear that was given to the winners of games during the ancient times in Europe. The Orchid represents the flavour of the region and a welcome stem to all participants of the Games.
The traditional gamosa (flowered cotton scarf) has been introduced in the logo to promote the tradition of the region and to connect the Games with the local people.
The logo has been designed to capture the essence of the games which is Peace, Prosperity and Progress. Peace is symbolised with the similarity given to all petals in terms of shape and size.
Prosperity is continuation amongst petals representing the various countries and the unity within. The Orchid symbolizes the blooming of the synergy between these eight great nations. Progress is the clockwise movement of the petals.
At the launch ceremony, the SAG's organising committee kicked off its volunteer programme which is open to the general public.
About 4,500 sport persons and officials from eight countries are expected to participate in 23 disciplines at the Games.