Punjab Sports and Youth Services Minister Rana Gurmit Singh Sodhi has announced that the state government will present cash awards totaling Rs 32.67 crore to Tokyo Olympics medal winners and participating state players, in addition to gold medalist Neeraj Chopra, at a special function to be held in Chandigarh on August 12.
According to Rana Sodhi, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh will honour the Olympic athletes, while Governor VP Singh Badnaur will serve as the special guest.
According to the Sports Minister, the Chief Minister has also increased the cash awards given to Olympic medalists in order to further promote sports in the state. Neeraj Chopra, who has strong ties to Punjab, will be honoured with an increased amount of Rs 2.51 crore, rather than the Rs 2 crore previously announced.
Rana Sodhi also announced that the cash awards for 11 state players who were a part of the Indian hockey team that brought laurels to the Olympics by winning a bronze medal after 41 years of drought have been increased from Rs 1 crore to Rs 2.51 crore. Each state hockey player will now receive Rs 2.51 crore.
Following this gesture, Indian Olympic Association (IOA) President Narinder Batra expressed gratitude to the Punjab government for treating hockey teams on an equal footing with individual athletes.
“I would like to express my gratitude to you sir for treating team athletes (hockey) on an equal footing with individual athletes; this is something that has been lacking in our country,” Batra said in an official statement.
Notably, the Indian hockey team is captained by Manpreet Singh, with Harmanpreet Singh serving as deputy captain. Apart from them, Punjab was also represented by Rupinder Pal Singh, Simranjit Singh, Mandeep Singh, Gurjant Singh, Shamsher Singh, Varun Kumar, Dilpreet Singh, Hardik Singh, and Krishan Pathak.
Reena Khokhar and Gurjit Kaur of the fourth-placed Indian women’s hockey team, as well as discus thrower Kamalpreet Kaur of the sixth-placed Indian women’s hockey team, will also receive cash prizes of Rs 50 lakh each.
Simranjit Kaur, Anjum Moudgill, and Angadveer Singh, Tejinder Pal Singh Toor, and Gurpreet Singh, as well as Paralympic badminton player Palak Kohli, will also receive Rs 21 lakh each.
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