Uttar Pradesh Diwas: At inaugural ceremony, CM felicitates state’s best athletes

Published on Jan 25, 2023 12:07 AM IST

To encourage sports in the state, chief minister Yogi Adityanath presented several of these sportspersons with the prestigious Laxman and Rani Laxmi Bai awards.

These awards carry a scroll of honour and <span class='webrupee'>₹</span>3.11 lakh cash along with the statue of Rani Laxmi Bai and Laxman. (Deepak Gupta)
These awards carry a scroll of honour and 3.11 lakh cash along with the statue of Rani Laxmi Bai and Laxman. (Deepak Gupta)

LUCKNOW The opening ceremony of Uttar Pradesh Diwas, held in Lucknow on Tuesday, witnessed a large congregation of athletes and para-athletes who have brought laurels for the state. To encourage sports in the state, chief minister Yogi Adityanath presented several of these sportspersons with the prestigious Laxman and Rani Laxmi Bai awards.

Among those who were conferred with the Rani Laxmi Bai and Laxman awards included -- Wushu exponents Neha Kashyap and Manisha Bhati, Mohit Yadav (handball, Lucknow), Jyoti Shukla (handball, Kanpur Nagar), Rahul Singh (hockey, Varanasi), Janardan Singh Yadav (wrestling, Ghazipur), Taruna Sharma (judo, Meerut), Arif (hockey, Gorakhpur), Radheshyam Singh (athletics, Azamgarh), Suhas LY (para-badminton, Lucknow), Vivek Chikara (para-archery, Meerut), and Dipendra Singh (para-shooting, Sambhal).

These awards carry a scroll of honour and 3.11 lakh cash along with the statue of Rani Laxmi Bai and Laxman. After receiving the award, Wushu exponent Neha said, “People weren’t much aware of Wushu till a few years ago but the success of Indian wushu exponents at the international level, especially at Asian Games, has given a boost to the sport as well as its players.” A Meerut resident, Neha won a bronze medal at the Junior Asian Championship in the Philippines in 2016 and a gold medal at the Malaysia International Wushu event.

Praising the state government for its support to sportspersons, she added, “The efforts of the state government are bearing fruits. Now, athletes are getting good cash awards, honours as well as jobs in government services. Government support would surely encourage sportspersons to earn more success in the future.”

Meanwhile, Uttar Pradesh Olympic Association’s (UPOA) president Viraj Sagar Das and general secretary, Anandeshwar Pandey, while congratulating the felicitated players, hailed the contributions of athletes in the field of sports for Uttar Pradesh as well as for the country.

Lauding the Yogi government, Das said that the state government has constantly worked in the interest of players. “Work is being done to bring forward new talents in the field of sports under the leadership of CM Yogi. Our players are also performing well,” added Das.

In a similar vein, Pandey said, “On behalf of UPOA, I not only congratulate the athletes but also pray for their success in the future. Such awards serve as an inspiration for the youth. Due to the work done by the state government in the interest of sports, we will see many new talents in the future.”

The state has now planned to give cash prizes to 14 other sportspersons, who represented India at the 2022 Commonwealth Games (CWG) in Birmingham, on the occasion of Republic Day on January 26. The athletes to be given cash prize on the day include -- Priyanka Goswami (athletics, silver medal, 75 lakh), Lalit Kumar Upadhyay (men’s hockey, silver medal, 75 lakh), Meghna Singh (cricket, silver medal, 75 lakh), Deepti Sharma (cricket, silver medal, 75 lakh), Annu Rani (athletics, bronze medal, 50 lakh), Divya Kakran (wrestling, bronze medal, 50 lakh), Vijay Kumar Yadav (judo, bronze medal, 50 lakh), Vandana Kataria (women’s hockey, bronze medal, 50 lakh). Apart from them, athletes like Seema Punia, Sarita Romit Singh, Rohit Yadav, Poonam Yadav, Poornima Pandey, and Vishwanath Yadav would be given 5 lakh each for their CWG 2022 participation.

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