Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Government has announced a cash award of Rs 6 crore and Group-A level government job for Paralympics Gold medalist Pramod Bhagat, said Sports & Youth Services Department today.
He will be handed over the cheque by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after his arrival in Bhubaneswar. He will also be eligible for a Group-A level government job, the department said.
“The State government is committed to support the sportspersons and para sportspersons to achieve their potential. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik interacted with the Odisha Olympians and para Olympian who had qualified for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics on 8th July and wished them good luck. To motivate them, he also announced cash awards for achieving medals– Rs 6 crore for Gold medal, Rs 4 crore for Silver medal and Rs 2.5 crore for Bronze medal. A grant of Rs 15 lakh was provided as support for their preparation for the Tokyo Olympics and Paralympics,” it said in a statement.
The Odisha players in the Bronze medal winning Indian Hockey Team– Birendra Lakra and Amit Rohidas– were handed over the cheques for Rs 2.5 crores immediately after their arrival in Bhubaneswar.
The State government is proud of the achievements of the Olympians and para Olympians and will continue to support them for their future championships, the statement added.
Notably, Pramod Bhagat became the first badminton player from India to win a gold medal at the Olympics or Paralympic Games, beating Great Britain’s Daniel Bathell 2-0 in the Men’s Singles SL3 final at the Tokyo Paralympic Games.
Bhagat, the 33-year-old from Odisha who contracted polio at age four, defeated the Briton 21-14, 21-17, coming back from 4-9 deficit in the second game to claim his first gold medal as badminton made its Paralympic Games debut at Tokyo. Bhagat, the top-ranked player in the world, is the reigning World Champion in SL3 class.