Ace shuttler PV Sindhu, who became the first Indian woman to bag a silver at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, was given a hero’s welcome by hundreds of people in Hyderabad on Monday.
Sindhu bagged the silver after going down in a match against World No 1 Carolina Marin of Spain that lasted an hour and 23 minutes. She was beaten 21-19, 12-21, 15-21 by Marin.
Sindhu, along with her coach Pullela Gopichand, landed at Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad on the outskirts at around 9.20am.
She was accorded a grand welcome by Telangana deputy chief minister Mahmood Ali and ministers KT Rama Rao and Talasani Srinivasa Yadav, mayor B Rammohan, Greater Hyderabad municipal commissioner Janardhan Reddy and collectors of Hyderabad and Ranga Reddy districts.
The Andhra Pradesh government sent its minister Palle Raghunath Reddy and Vijayawada MP Kesineni Nani, as its representatives to welcome Sindhu. They presented a bouquet and shawl to her on behalf of their government.
Hundreds of sports lovers and school children, who lined up on both sides of the road leading to the airport, cheered her as she came out of the arrival lounge. A large number of cultural troupes brought in by the department of culture of the Telangana government danced and played drums to welcome the star shuttler.
The Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation team burst crackers to celebrate her grand arrival.
Hyderabad: Students at Gachibowli stadium cheer for Rio Olympics silver-medalist PV Sindhu,who is to arrive shortly pic.twitter.com/KKjemOm8t0— ANI (@ANI_news) August 22, 2016
Wearing an indigo blazer and sporting the Olympic silver medal in her neck, 21-year-old Sindhu along with Gopichand and her parents PV Ramana and Vijaya, boarded Nilambari, an open deck double-decker Brihanmumbai Electricity Supply and Transport (BEST) bus that was decorated with flowers and national tricolour.
The Telangana government requested BEST to provide the bus for Sindhu’s victory rally in the city.
A large number of welcome hoardings have installed by the GHMC from the airport to Gachibowli and other places in the city.
The cavalcade travelled from Shamshabad to Gachibowli stadium, where chief minister Chandrasekhar Rao will felicitate her. After the official ceremony, Sindhu will be heading to the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy (PGDA) in Gachibowli where she will interact with fellow trainees and media.
The Telangana government announced a Rs 5 crore cash reward for the 21-year-old, a 1,000 square yard housing site near the Pullela Gopichand Badminton Academy and a suitable government job if she is willing. It also announced a cash prize of Rs 1 crore for Sindhu’s coach Gopichand.
Andhra government too has offered Sindhu a job and will give her a cash reward of Rs 3 crore and a residential plot in Amravati, its new upcoming capital city.
Sindhu and wrestler Sakshi Malik were the only sportspeople to have won medals for India in the just-concluded Olympics. The United States topped the tally with 121 medals, including 46 gold.