Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 4:
The Odisha government today gave enhanced cash incentives announced in October this year to international hockey star Birendra Lakra and physically challenged badminton player Pramod Bhagat.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik handed over two cheques for Rs 30 lakh to Lakra (Rs 10 lakh for winning a silver in the 20th Commonwealth Games-2014 at Glasgow and Rs 20 lakh for winning gold medal in the 17th Asian Games-2014 at Incheon in South Korea) at the State Secretariat here.
He also handed over a cheque of Rs 12 lakh to Bhagat for winning a bronze medal in the Para Asian Games-2014 at Incheon in South Korea.
It may be noted that other members of the Indian hockey team, many of whom are in the city to play in the Champions Trophy, had complained to Sports minister Sudam Marandi about the fact that Lakra was yet to get any cash award from the state government while they had all been rewarded by their resepective state governments.
Sports secretary Saswat Mishra had then assured that Lakra would be given the enhanced cash award announced by the state government on a day when India were not playing a match in the Champins Trophy.
Among others, Sports and Youth Affairs minister Sudam Marandi, secretary Saswat Mishra, additional secretary Anant Kishore Jena and officials of the concerned department were present.
It may be mentioned that the state government, in a notification on October 29 this year, had announced that it would offer double the amount of cash award given by the central government to sports persons who win medals at international events.
The revised cash incentive would be given from the 20th Commonwealth Games-2014 at Glasgow, the notification had stated.