Kolkata: West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee today gave away prizes to sports personalities for their achievements in different fields while announcing cash assistance to 7,000 clubs from different parts of the state to the tune of Rs 105 crore.
Bengal pace spearhead Ashok Dinda, Asian Games gold medallist in squash Sourav Ghosal, archery stars Dola Banerjee and Trisha Deb, former hockey Olympian Gurbax Singh, billiards coach Manoj Kothari and legendary soccer coaches Amol Dutta and P K Banerjee were among those who were facilitated at a ceremony to mark the 152nd birth anniversary of Swami Vivekananda.
Banerjee announced that Rs two lakh each would be given to 3,500 clubs while Rs one lakh each to another 3,500 clubs which got a dole of Rs two lakh last year for development of activities in different fields of sport.
Banerjee lamented the absence of Sports Minister Madan Mitra, who was arrested by the CBI for alleged involvement in the Saradha scam and is in judicial remand at present, saying “Madan started this work, today he is not here but I am sure his good wishes are with us. Good work cannot be stopped.”
“In life, one has to face storms but have to overcome these and move forward. Break wrongs, break canards, break humiliation and move ahead. People of the soil are real people, ‘Ma Mati Manush’ never fade away,” the Trinamool Congress supremo said.
She announced that the state would celebrate Swamiji’s birth anniversary every year, which falls on Monday this year, with a three-day festival.
While Gurbax Singh and star footballer of yesteryears Chuni Goswami were given lifetime achievement awards, athletics coach Sudhir Pal and billiards coach Manoj Kothari got ‘Krira Guru’ awards.
Tennis coach Joydeep Mukherjee, gymnastics coach Joyprakash Chakraborti were also given the award, apart from P K Banerjee and Amol Dutta.
While 31 sportspersons from different fields were given the ‘Bangla-r Gaurav’ (Bengal’s Pride) award, 21 others were given the ‘Khel Samman’ award.