Imphal, Aug 21:
The Government of Manipur today felicitated the five athletes who participated in Tokyo Olympics 2020 in a grand reception organised by the State Youth Affairs and Sports Department at Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium, Imphal.
Chief Minister N. Biren Singh, Union Minister of State for Food Processing Industries and Jal Shakti Shri Prahlad Singh Patel and Youth Affairs and Sports Minister Letpao Haokip graced the occasion as chief guest, guest of honour and president respectively.
Deputy Chief Minister Y. Joykumar, Ministers – Th. Biswajit, Awangbow Newmai, S. Rajen, O. Lukhoi, Th. Satyabrata, Deputy Speaker K. Robindro, Manipur Olympic Association president Th. Radheshyam, Tokyo Olympians Km. S. Mirabai Chanu, S. Nilakanta Sharma, Km. P. Sushila Chanu, Smt. MC Mary Kom and L. Sushila, Hockey India president Shri Gyanendro Ningombam, Gymnastics Federation of India General Secretary Dr. S. Shantikumar Singh and former Olympians Shri P. Nilakomol, Ksh. Thoiba, Kh. Tombi, Ng. Sonia and K. Chinglensana were also seated on the dais.
Hockey player Sh. Nilakanta Sharma was feted with Rs. 75 lakh and the appointment letter of Deputy Director in YAS Department for winning a bronze medal in Men’s Hockey. Likewise, Indian women hockey team member Km. P. Sushila Chanu was honoured with Rs. 25 lakh and the appointment letter of Assistant Director in YAS Department. On the occasion, Rs. 25 lakh was handed over to boxing great Smt. MC Mary Kom while Judoka Km. L. Sushila was honoured with Rs. 25 lakh and promotion to the post of Inspector in the Manipur Police Department. It may be mentioned that silver medallist Km. S. Mirabai Chanu had already been awarded Rs. 1 crore besides appointing her to the post of Additional SP (Sports) in the Manipur Police Department.
Speaking at the occasion, N. Biren Singh said that the State Government has been extending all possible support and assistance to players despite State’s weak financial position. He said that the Manipur Olympian Park being planned to develop at Sangaithel would be completed by November end. Stating that the park would be a symbol of honour and tribute to the Olympians who had represented the country in the Olympic Games from the tiny State of Manipur, the Chief Minister stated that it would inspire the budding players and motivate them to work hard.
N. Biren Singh also announced that the State Cabinet had approved to reward Km. Ngangom Bala Devi with Rs. 30 lakh for bringing laurels to the State by becoming the first woman footballer of the country who had played for a foreign club. In his speech, the Chief Minister also lauded Smt. MC Mary Kom for her marvellous achievements in the field of boxing, stating that the record she had made would be hard to break.
Maintaining that the State Government has been putting in all possible efforts to develop sports infrastructures, he said that flood lighting systems had been installed at Khuman Lampak main stadium and hockey stadium besides developing playgrounds in different places. He also assured to review the inconveniences faced by coaches.
The Chief Minister also announced that the Government had decided to reduce the price of petrol and diesel to Rs. 102.96 and Rs. 90.64 respectively. However, it would come into effect after around 10 days.
Addressing the gathering, Prahlad Singh Patel said that Manipur had brought laurels to the country and added that felicitation and well-wishing of champion players would inspire future champions and motivate them to work harder. For a player, nothing is greater than trying to give his/her best performance during competitions, he added.
Speaking at the occasion, Y. Joykumar Singh stressed the need to identify the sports disciplines which are suitable to the State. Stating that loss and win is the part of any game, the Deputy Chief Minister observed that players should never get disheartened during the bad phase of their career.
Addressing the gathering, Letpao Haokip said that the State has a comprehensive sports policy to extend support and assistance to players. He said that the prize money for medal winners in Olympic Games and international competitions had already been hiked. The Minister informed that Rs. 1.20 crore would be given to gold medal winners in Olympic Games while Rs. 1 core and Rs. 75 lakh would be rewarded to silver and bronze medal winners. He further informed that one post of Joint Director, five posts of Deputy Director and 10 posts of Assistant Director had been recently created in the State Youth Affairs and Sports Department for medal winners in Olympic Games.