New Delhi: In a unique gesture, the Delhi Golf Club (DGC) on Tuesday announced cash rewards of a total of Rs 50 lakhs for all medal winners from the 2016 Rio Olympics and Paralympics.
According to Rajesh Dhingra, president of the DGC, the club has not made any distinction between the able bodied athletes and those in the Paralympics, and will give the same prize to both.
The difference in amount is based on the medals. The prizes are Rs 10 lakh for gold, Rs 7.5 lakh for silver and Rs 5 lakh for bronze.
The awardees are: Devendra Jhajharia (Paralympic gold medallist in Javelin) gets Rs 10 lakh, Thangavelu Mariyappan (Paralympic gold medallist in High Jump) gets Rs 10 lakh, PV Sindhu (Olympic silver medallist in badminton) gets Rs 7.5 lakh, Deepa Malik (Paralympic silver medallist in shot put) gets 7.5 lakh, Varun Bhati (Paralympic bronze medallist in high jump) gets Rs 5 lakh, and Sakshi Malik (Olympic bronze medallist in wrestling) gets Rs 5 lakh.
Delhi Golf Club is an exclusive golf facility but its president Rajesh Dhingra said he believes that achievements at the biggest sports arena in the world, need to be recognised and rewarded by as many corporate houses, individuals and sports bodies as possible.
Dhingra, a former secretary of the Sports Authority of India (SAI), said: "I hope that when India's golfers perform at the highest level then they too will get felicitated by other organisations. This will help raise the profile of sports people all over the country."
In addition, the Delhi Golf Club has also announced a cash award of Rs 5 lakh for Pullela Gopichand's badminton academy in Hyderabad.
Sindhu thanked the Delhi Golf Club saying "every award is special for me and further motivates me to win for my country".
Gopichand said: "I am pleasantly surprised to receive a contribution from a golf club and I hope to reciprocate by welcoming any of our national golfers to my academy for training if it helps them."
Deepa Malik, the first Indian woman to win a Paralympics medal also thanked the DGC.
"This is a perfect example of the Amul tag line of Para athletes being on 'Para' with the able bodied ones. Cash prizes of the same value for both are a welcome gesture."
The Delhi Golf Club hopes to invite all the Rio winners to the club for a felicitation and to try their hand at golf.