Imphal: Manipur government on Saturday felicitated the five Tokyo Olympians of Manipur in a grand reception ceremony in presence of chief minister N. Biren Singh, Union minister of state for food processing industries and Jal Shakti, Prahlad Singh Patel and youth affairs and sports minister Letpao Haokip.
The reception ceremony was organised by the state youth affairs and sports (YAS) department at Khuman Lampak Indoor Stadium, here.
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.
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.
Pugilist MC Mary Kom and Judoka L. Sushila was honoured with Rs 25 lakh each. Sushila was promoted to the post of inspector in the Manipur Police department.
Silver medallist S. Mirabai Chanu had already been awarded Rs 1 crore besides appointing her to the post of additional SP (sports) in the Manipur Police Ddpartment.
Biren said the state government has been extending all possible support and assistance to players despite state’s weak financial position. He said, “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 Biren said it would inspire the budding players and motivate them to work hard.
Biren announced that the state Cabinet had approved to reward 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.
Flood lighting systems had been installed at Khuman Lampak main stadium and hockey stadium besides developing playgrounds in different places, he said and assured to review the inconveniences faced by coaches.
Prahlad said 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 or her best performance during competitions, he added.
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, Hockey India president S Gyanendro Ningombam, Gymnastics Federation of India general secretary Dr S. Shantikumar Singh and former Olympians P. Nilakomol, Ksh. Thoiba, Kh. Tombi, Ng. Sonia and K. Chinglensana were present among others.