Mamata Banerjee invites Dipa Karmakar’s coach to set up academy in Bengal
Also promises financial assistance if the Tripura-based gymnast needs it.kolkata Updated: Feb 20, 2017 13:21 IST
West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee invited Bisheswar Nandi, the coach of gymnast Dipa Karmakar, to set up an academy in her state.
“Dipa’s coach told me whether he can set up an academy in Bengal. I told him, he can certainly,” Mamata Banerjee remarked on Monday at a sports department programme at Netaji Indoor Stadium.
She even offered to help Dipa Karmakar, who is a resident of Tripura, if she faced any difficulty. “I have told Dipa that we will help her in case of any difficulty,” she added.
Dipa Karmakar, who missed the bronze in vault routine in the Rio Olympics by a whisker, is a Bengali who lives in Agartala.
She lashed out at demonetisation again and pointed out that the Prime Minister’s move has adversely affected sponsorship of sports, but said that he government will always stand by the sports persons.
The chief minister loosened her purse strings for 13 clubs, each of which, she said will get Rs 50 lakh from the state sports department for development of sports.
Enlisting her government’s achievements in building sports infrastructure, she said, “We have built 16 new stadiums, refurbished 46 and built 23 youth hostels.”
She also said that she will compose a theme song for the sports department, and emphasised that there is need for one since it will foster identity and as sense of pride.
Incidentally, the chief minister was earlier criticised by the opposition for handing out liberal doles for thousands of clubs, which, they alleged, was just another means of squandering scarce public money for political favour. Nearly 12,000 clubs have so far got these grants that range from Rs 2 lakh to Rs 5 lakh.