Neeraj gets Rs. 2 cr, silver medallists Rs. 1.5 cr, bronze medallists Rs. 1 cr
Marcel Proust, the French novelist considered one of the most influential authors of the 20th century rightly wrote, “Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom.” None in India did it better than Yogi Adityanath’s UP Government, which magnanimously showered bounties on the Tokyo Olympians. It was gesture of gratitude from the most prominent state of the country and its people to the Olympian heroes.
The event organized by the Yogi Adityanath-led UP government to felicitate Tokyo-returned sporting icons of India was big and grand in every way. All medallists appeared captivated by the hospitality extended to them at the Atal Bihari Vajpayee Ekana Cricket Stadium in Lucknow.
The Olympic laurel winning athletes were felicitated with all pomp and show at the state’s most prized venue. In a high profile function graced by Mahamahim, the first Lady of the State, Governor Anandiben Patel, Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, two Deputy Chief Ministers Keshav Prasad Mauraya, Dr. (Prof.) Dinesh Sharma, Suresh Khanna, Medical Education, Minister, Upendra Tiwari, Minister for Sports, the state BJP President Swatantra Dev Singh, Narendra Batra, President, Indian Olympic Asssociation (IOA) and its treasurer Anandeshwar Pandey, Viraj Sagar Dass, President, UP Olympic Association MPs, MLAs, and prominent citizens in a packed stadium with promising state sportspersons in attendance waiting to emulate the feats of the Tokyo heroes were honoured. On this unique sports festival of the state, 75 sportspersons each from all the 75 Districts were also invited to draw inspiration from the Olympian stalwarts. The iconic Olympians were spell bound by the warmth and cordiality accorded to them at the venue.
The UP Government is to be lauded for their unique generous gesture by showering praise and capped it with cash awards to not only to medal winners and even the Olympic participants who could not fetch a medal. The official machinery is to be complimented for rewarding even the coaches and support staff of the Olympic contingent. It may be pertinent to point out that no state in the country has come forward on such a massive scale commended the Tokyo returned Olympians and their mentors so majestically.
The sports-loving Yogi Adityanath’sUttar Pradesh government went out in a big way to offer a sum of Rs. 42 crore while felicitating the present national sports icon who had unfurled the Indian tricolour on the Mount Olympus at the recently concluded XXXII Olympiad at Tokyo.
The cynosure of all eyes was gold medallist javelin thrower Neeraj Chopra,who received Rs. 2 crore, the other awardees included silver medallists wrestler Ravi Dahiya and lifter MirabaiChanu Rs. 1.5 crore each, while three individual bronze medallists – shuttler P.V. Sindhu, boxer Lovlina Borgohain and wrestler Bajrang Punia Rs. 1 crore each. The 19 members of the Indian men’s hockey bronze medalists were bestowed Rs 1 crore each. However, local lad and Varanasi hockey Olympian Lalit Upadhyay got Rs. 1.25 crore. The head coach of the men’s hockey team, Graham Reid received Rs. 25 lakh.
A text and video tweet shared by the official Twitter handle of the CM’s office about the felicitation function, Olympic gold medallist (javelin throw) Neeraj Chopra said, “I thank the honourable chief minister and the state administration from the bottom of my heart for honouring the Olympians. I hope that young sportspersons would draw inspiration after meeting us.”
The members of the women’s hockey team, whose gallant performance was lauded by the hockey fans at home to finish fourth in Tokyo, were awarded Rs. 50 lakh each along with golfer Aditi Ashok, who too narrowly missed out on a bronze medal. The support staff of the women’s hockey team received Rs. 10 lakh each.
Chief Minister Adityanath praised the performance of 10 athletes from the state who participated in Tokyo. Adityanath complimented India’s best-ever show at an Olympic event and praised the athletes for giving best performing in the sports mahakumbh for the country in the wake of raging deadly COVID pandemic.”We are glad that our team performed to its best-ever show at 2020 Tokyo Olympics. In 18 disciplines, India won seven medals while 10 athletes from UP also participated in the Tokyo Games,” Adityanath said.
The Chief Minister also listed the steps being taken by the State Government to promote sports in Uttar Pradesh. He pointed out that 31 stadia have already been built in the State and a sports university is coming up in Meerut which will be named after legendary hockey player Major Dhyan Chand (original Jhansi dweller).
The State Sports Department, its minister Upendra Tiwari and Director R.P. Singh put their best foot forward to organise the mega sports show with silken-smoothness. Making a bright prophecy about India’s sports future, Tiwari said, “Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been promoting sports through ‘Khelo India Khelo’ and ‘Fit India Movement’. The Uttar Pradesh Government is making all out efforts to ensure that in future, India emerges with flying colours in sports events at the international level and majority of medal winners are from UP.”
The event left its mark, the occasion to be in the right perspective as put in right words by Margaret Cousins, an Irish-Indian educationist in forefront of establishing All India Women’s Conference in 1927 who said, “Appreciation can make a day, even change a life. Your willingness to put it all into words is all that is necessary.” The appreciation has really come from the Uttar Pradesh Government in a big way.