Ranchi: Jharkhand athletes who won medals during the 34th National Games are disappointed as they are yet to get the cash awards promised to them but the state government says these will soon be disbursed.
During the closing ceremony here Feb 26, Jharkhand Chief Minister Arjun Munda had announced cash awards of Rs. 7 lakh, Rs. 5 lakh and Rs. 3 lakh for the state's gold, silver and bronze medallists. The coaches of the players were promised cash awards of Rs.2 lakh, Rs. 1 lakh and Rs. 50,000 each.
"It is indeed very sad that Jharkhand government spent hundreds of croers of rupees on organizing the games. The state govt spent Rs 5 crore for publicity and Rs 10.5 crore for opening and closing ceremony. The players who won medals have not been given cash awards," Shailesh Sinha, Jharkhand congress spokesperson, told IANS.
The sportspersons who won medals are disappointed as the state govt is prompt in promoting cricket.
Indian cricket captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni was gifted a 4,000 sq ft plot by the Munda government when he made his international debut. Now the state government has announced it would provide Dhoni five acres of land to set up a cricket academy.
"We are not against promotion of cricket, but why this step motherly-treatment to other sports? Dhoni is a friend of deputy chief minister and in charge of sports ministry, Sudesh Mahto. The state government rolls out red carpet for Dhoni. We struggle for basic needs," a national games silver medallist told IANS.
Mahto, reacting on the issue said: "The players who won medals will be felicitated along with Dhoni. The state government has planned a grand felicitation ceremony for Dhoni and the medal winners of the National Games."