Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 23:
Ace Odisha sprinter Dutee Chand was conferred the ‘Ekalabya Award’ for year 2015 at a function held in Bhubaneswar this evening.
The internationally-famed speedster received a cash award of Rs 5 lakh and a bronze citation from Odisha Sports Minister Sudam Marandi on the occasion.
“I am happy and proud to have won the award for my contribution to sports. I would like to thank everyone for standing by my side through thick and thin. I needed financial support to train abroad for Olympic qualifiers and this award amount would certainly go a long way in doing that,” said an ecstatic Dutee.
Apart from Dutee, two other rising sportspersons- chess player Saina Salonika and weightlifter Pramila Kirsani were also felicitated with cash awards of Rs 50, 000 and a citation each on the occasion.
The award, instituted by IMPaCT, the charitable wing of the IMFA Group, the leading integrated ferroalloys producer in the country since 1993, is given to young sportspersons of Odisha every year in recognition of their outstanding performances in the preceding two years.
Previous winners of this prestigious award include former Indian Hockey Captain Dillip Tirkey, International Cricketer Debashish Mohanty, athlete Anuradha Biswal, weightlifter K Ravi Kumar, chess player Padmini Rout and shooter Shreyanka Sarangi.