UP govt announces hefty cash awards for Olympic medallists

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Greater Noida, Sep 27 (IANS) Uttar Pradesh Sports Minister Chetan Chauhan on Thursday announced his government’s decision to give away hefty cash awards to Olympic medallists, that will see the winners getting richer by Rs 6 crore while the silver and bronze medallists will bag a purse of Rs 4 crore and Rs 2 crore, respectively.

“Our government has decided to give Rs 50 lakh to gold, Rs 30 lakh to silver, and Rs 20 lakh to bronze medallists of Asian and CWG medal winners. On October 2, our Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath will felicitate all the medal winners in Lucknow,” he added.

Besides the medal winners, a sum of Rs 5 lakh will be given to each participating athlete in the Asian Games and CWG.

Chauhan said the government has taken this decision to uplift the conditions of sports and sportspersons in the state, from where 11 out of 44 athletes have returned with medals from the recently-held Asian Games.

“We have taken so many decisions including giving Rs 6 crore to Olympic gold medallists. We know that UP has so much talent and the increased prize money will motivate them to perform at the highest level,” Chauhan said during the jersey unveiling ceremony of Pro Kabaddi League (PKL) franchisee — UP Yoddha.

“In the recently-concluded Asian Games, 44 players from UP had participated and won 11 medals. Before that UP athletes won 7 medals in CWG. Our players are performing well and it’s our duty to help them financially.”

“This is probably the first time that a government will give some money to participating athletes. All athletes will be benefited by this decision and it will help uplift the financial condition of athletes residing in UP,” he said.

“UP government has also decided to give financial help to retired sportspersons. All the athletes who won Arjuna, Dronacharya and Rani Jhansi awards will get Rs 20,000 per month pension.

“We cannot forget those who have brought laurels for the country and state. Being a sportsperson I know what kind of difficulties they had faced. Our main aim is to promote sports culture in UP and these decisions will certainly help,” he added.

Chauhan also promised jobs to the medallists from the state, besides allowing them four years to complete their graduation in order to be eligible for Class 2 level jobs.

“We have decided that all the medal winner athletes will get class 2 level job in 11 departments of the government. Those who have not done graduation will get four years to get the graduation degree.

“Since minimum qualification for class 2 officer is graduation we have decided to give athletes four years to get the graduation degree,” he said.

Chauhan said that due to the policy of the state government, the players are coming back to the state.

“We have given job to Sudha Singh. Now she is residing in Mumbai but after getting all the support from our govt, she wants to come back to Lucknow. In a way, our policies enable reverse migration. Earlier athletes were leaving the state due to lack of facilities,” Chauhan said.

Regarding the growing popularity of kabaddi, he said, “Kabaddi is a game that is played all the time in childhood and with the start of the Pro Kabaddi League, the game is getting corporate backing. Now the audience is also involved.”

–IANS

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