Bhubaneswar: Braja Bhushan Mohanty, eminent boxing coach from Odisha, today received the prestigious Dronacharya Award from President Ram Nath Kovind at a function at Rashtrapati Bhawan in New Delhi on the occasion of National Sports Day.
Mohanty has been honoured for his major contribution to development of boxing. After getting training in boxing coaching from Patiala in 1992, Mohanty, a resident of Badakhemundi in Berhampur, joined as boxing coach in defence. During his career as coach, he has produced a dozens of good boxers including Shiva Thapa, Dingko Singh, Gurucharan Singh and Vikas Krishan Yadav, who have clinched medals for the country in international boxing competitions.
Following retirement from defence service in 2013, he was appointed as the chief coach of Jharkhand boxing team. He was in the Indian coach team for boxing from 2002 till 2011.
Besides Mohanty, the President also gave away the Dronacharya awards to Late R. Gandhi (athletics), Heera Nand Kataria (kabaddi), G.S.S.V. Prasad (badminton, lifetime), P.A. Raphel (hockey, lifetime), Sanjoy Chakravorty (shooting, lifetime) and Roshan Lal (wrestling, lifetime).
The prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award was given to former India hockey team captain Sardar Singh and Paralympian javelin thrower Devendra Jhajharia.
The Arjuna awardees for this year are star athlete Rajiv Arokia, Saketh Myneni (tennis), Jyoti Surekha Vennam (archery), Khushbir Kaur (athletics), Prashanti Singh (basketball), S.V. Sunil (hockey), S.S.P. Chaurasia (golf), Satyavrat Kadian (wrestling), Anthony Amalraj (table tennis), P.N. Prakash (shooting), Jasvir Singh (kabaddi), Laishram Devendro Singh (boxing), Oinam Bembem Devi (football), Harmanpreet Kaur and Cheteshwar Pujara (both cricket) along with Paralympians Mariyappan Thangavelu and Varun Singh Bhati.
Apart from a medal and a citation, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees received a cash prize of Rs 7.5 lakh while the Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs 5 lakh each.
(With IANS inputs)