Odisha announces Rs 60 lakh incentive for 6 Rio qualifiers

Naveen Patnaik
Photo: Shailendra Pandey

The Odisha government has announced a special incentive of Rs 60 lakh for six sportswomen who qualified for Rio Olympics. Four Indian hockey players with sprinters Dutee Chand and Srabani Nanda would be awarded Rs 10 lakh rupees each.

“The special cash award will help them prepare better for the Games. I wish all six players the best and may they return with flying colours,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

The players who would be getting award are sprinter Dutee Chand representing India in 100-metre and Srabani Nanda in 200-metre women’s events, and four hockey players Lilima Minz, Deep Grace Ekka, Sunita Lakra and Namita Toppo.

Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) has been directed by the chief minister to transfer the officially announced amount into players’ the accounts. Dutee belongs to a poor family from Gopalpur village in Jajpur, while Srabani comes from Kandhamal district which is dominated by tribal people. Four hockey players belong to Sundargarh, which is tribal as well.

The state government has doubled the awards from Rs 50,000 to Rs 1 lakh and also that the Olympians participating in individual events will get 1 lakh each.