Ranchi: The Jharkhand government will provide cash rewards of Rs 2 crore, Rs 1 crore and Rs 75 lakh to players who won gold, silver and bronze medals respectively in the Tokyo Olympics, chief minister Hemant Soren announced on Saturday.
Interacting virtually with the players ahead of the Games scheduled later this month, Soren also announced Rs 50 lakh for archer Deepika Kumari for her golden stint in the recently concluded Archery World Cup Stage 3 in Paris, both in team and individual events while Rs 20 lakh each will be given to her two other teammates — Komolika Bari and Ankita Bhagat. Another Rs 15 lakh will be given to archery coach Purnima Mahto, who played a pivotal role for the gold-winning archery team in Paris.
Soren further announced Rs 5 lakh each for hockey girls, Nikki Pradhan and Salima Tete, who are in Team India in the Tokyo Games as a token of appreciation and encouragement for putting up a good show.
All players who received the rewards, the three Olympians and the coach were connected online during the interaction with Soren.
Appreciating the players’ contribution, Soren said, “All of you are the pride of our state and the country and we are pinning great hopes on you again in the upcoming Olympics. The state government is committed to promoting sports and players and will do all that is possible in this regard.”
Soren also informed them that the new sports policy prepared by the state focuses on the overall promotion of sports and players with a special focus on developing games from the grassroots. “We are working on the creation of facilities to groom players at the panchayat levels,” he added.
Talking to TOI over the phone, Deepika hailed the government’s move and said they were encouraged by the chief minister’s appreciation and support. “It was a great interaction before the Olympics. I will do my best this time to clinch the gold,” she said, adding that such interactions often help in coping with pressure. She, however, refused to speak about her preparations for the Olympics and other topics, citing the code of conduct before the mega event.
The troika of archers — Deepika Kumari, Komolika Bara and Ankita Bhagat — clinched the gold in the recently concluded stage three world cup in Paris in the women’s recurve category. Deepika also became world number 1 following her hat-trick of gold medals during the event in the individual category. On the other hand, Nikki Pradhan will be in the Indian Olympics team for the second time while Salima Tete will be taking part in the Games for the first time.