Railway Minister Mamata Banerjee on Saturday made a surprise appearance at the National Sports Awards ceremony walking up to receive the 'Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskar' on behalf of the Railways Sports Promotion Board at the Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi.
RSPB was bestowed the award, which was introduced this year, for providing employment to sportspersons and for the sports welfare measures. Mamata surprised the packed crowd by coming to receive the award and was greeted with a thunderous applause as she walked up to receive the honour from President Pratibha Patil.
RSPB has Olympic bronze medallist wrestler Sushil Kumar on its payroll. Boxing's Olympic bronze medallist Vijender Singh was also employed with the Railways before joining Haryana Police last year.
The other 'Rashtriya Khel Protsahan Puruskars' went to Tata Steel Limited for nurturing talent and setting up academies. Tata Steel Ltd's MD and President of their Workers' Union received the award on the company's behalf.