Barinder Saluja, Chandigarh : Feb. 04 : It was an array of Punjab Politicians, which descended at the auditorium of Shivalik Public School, Mohali to facilitate the International Medalist of Punjab, in the field of Sports, with the cash prize as the appreciation for their achievement which brought laurels to our Nation & Punjab State. It was the highest ever Cash Awards given by any state in the country to the sports personnel. All in all 50 sports persons from whole of Punjab state were awarded cash amount. Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal, Deputy CM Sukhbir Badal, Sports Minister Sukhdev Singh Dhindsa, other Punjab Ministers, MLA’s and high profile bureaucrats were present at the function.
CM Parkash Singh Badal termed this day as Historic Day in the History of Punjab and said, ” i congratulate to all those sports persons who have brought laurels to our Nation and Punjab State. I am proud of them. It is only the Punjab Government who has taken such a kind of step in the history of India to initiate to promote sports in the state of Punjab by taking a decision to spent ` 24 crore for the development of sports persons & infrastructure through out the state. I would love to see the maximum of sports persons representing India, should be from Punjab State. ” Her also declared that those sports persons who have taken Gold Medals in the Asian Games, Common Wealth Games & other International Games, they will be posted as gazetted officers in the different departments of the state government.
Deputy CM, Sukhbir Badal also congratulated the sports persons present at the function and urged them to bring more Gold Medals at the international level to the state & assured them that he will personally see that each and every penny sanctioned for the development of sports in the state are spent in the appropriate manner so that our sports persons get the International level of infrastructure and coaching, enabling them to perform & compete with other Countries. He said,” We have decided to raise the status of sports in the state to the level of International standards. Punjab Government is the only Government in the country, who has taken the initiative to make sports policies by forming “Punjab Institute of Sports” in Punjab under which three sports schools will be made with a value of ` 30 crore each, where children from the age of Six years will be given training, along with studies, in the field of their interest of the sport. We believe in the policy of “catch them young”, which is the right way to make great sportsman.”
Ronjan Sodhi one of the recipients of the highest cash award of ` 94,99,333/=, who shot Gold at Asian Games said, ” I am very happy with the decision of the Punjab Government to give away the cash awards to the sports persons as there are many sports men who are below poverty line and really need that kind of support to carry on to win medals for their nation. This type of initiative will definitely boost the morals of the sportsman. The government should also think something about those sportsmen who have won medals at the national level also.”
Indian Hockey Captain, Rajpal Singh, who was awarded `22,00,000/=, was also one of the happy persons and appreciated the step of the Punjab Government and termed as the appropriate award for their achievement. He also said, ” all the sports persons of Punjab Should get jobs in Punjab Itself, because if we go and work in other states then we are not getting that respect which we will get in our home state. Punjab Government has left all other state governments behind, in giving cash prizes & that also of the maximum amount ever given by any other state”.
Some of the awardees were, Ronjan Sodhi ` 94,99,333/=, Manavjeet Sandhu ` 58,66,000/=, Heena Sidhu ` 48,33,333/=, Manjit Kaur ` 48,00,000/=, Mandip Kaur ` 43,50,000/=, Abhinav Bindra ` 43,00,000/=, Gurpreet Singh ` 38,00,000/=, Mansher Singh ` 33,33,000/=, Manjit Singh ` 32,00,000/=, Ranjit Singh ` 32,00,000/=, from the field of Indian Hockey, Dharamveer Singh ` 22,62,500/=, Rajpal Singh (captain) ` 2,00,000/=, Sarawanjit Singh ` 22,00,000/=, Ravipal Singh ` 22,00,000/=, Gurbaz Singh ` 22,00,000/=, Raj Kumar (Para Olympics) ` 20,50,000/=, Mukesh Kumar (Para Olympics) ` 3,00,000/= and many more totaling to the tune of ` 7,53,55,331/=, were distributed which stand in itself as a history in our country. No state has ever distributed such huge amount of cash awards to the medalists of Asian Games, Common Wealth Games and other International events. It is an achievement for the Punjab Government.