Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Apr 22:
The sports fraternity of Odisha has expressed deepest condolences on the demise of former Odisha chief minister Janaki Ballav Patnaik and remembered his contribution towards upliftment of sports infrastructure of the state.
During his tenure as chief minister, JB was instrumental in setting up of 14 sports hostels which has produced sports stars of international repute such as Rachita Mistry, Dillip Tirkey, Anuradha Biswal, Katulu Ravi Kumar, Ignesh Tirkey, Prabodh Tirkey, Jyoti Sunita Kulu, Birendra Lakra and many more who have brought laurels and pride for Odisha.
To encourage sports and provide training facilities to budding players, he had launched flagship programmes to build stadium in district headquarters. As part of this initiative, Jawaharlal Nehru indoor stadium and Kalinga Stadium were dedicated to the state.
“He used to visit the stadia and meet sportspersons. His understanding of sports had surprised many,” expressed retired sports administrator Ashok Mohanty.
A fitness conscious, JB used to take great care of his health and diet to remain fit.
“Janaki Babu’s contribution to the development of sports will be remembered for years. His initiatives have taken Odisha sports to a new high. His demise has created an irreplaceable void in the state,” said Rajya Sabha MP and former captain of national hockey team Dillip Tirkey.