A struggling Air India on Thursday announced cash awards of meagre Rs 25,000 and Rs 10,000 for two of its employees — coach Harendra Singh and striker Armaan Qureshi — who were part of the historic Indian hockey team that won the Junior World Cup last week after a gap of 15 years.
Harendra, who is working as a senior manager in Air India, was the head coach of the Indian colts who defeated Belgium 2-1 in the final to lift the Junior Hockey World Cup in Lucknow last Sunday.
Armaan is a contractual employee and plays for Air India in the domestic circuit.
Announcing the cash awards, Air India Chairman and Managing Director, Ashwani Lohani said if the national carrier was in a good position financially, he would have rewarded the duo more for their accomplishments.
Promising to get the national carrier out of troubled waters, Lohani said he wants Air India to promote sports as it used to do in the past.
“I would like to congratulate both Harendra and Armaan for what they have achieved. It is a matter of pride for the Air India family. I would like to announce a small cash award of Rs 25,000 for Harendra and Rs 10,000 for Armaan from Air India’s behalf,” Lohani said during a felicitation ceremony here on Thursday.
“I would have liked to reward them more if not for our current position. But we pledge to work as a family and get Air India back on track,” he added.
Asked if Air India is planning to regularise Armaan’s job or considering a promotion for Harendra, Lohani gave a diplomatic reply.
“We have a policy to promote sports but we have to look at the matter. But definitely the matter will be under our active consideration,” said Lohani, who is also the President of Air India Sports Promotion Board.
Air India also felicitated all-rounder Jayant Yadav, who impressed in his debut Test series against England recently.
Jayant is not directly associated with the Air India family but his father is a regular employee of the national carrier.