By Anurjay Dhal
Bhubaneswar: Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik certainly have a different feeling while on Monday announcing a cash prize of Rs 5 lakh for the Olympian shooter Abhinav Bindra, who clinched a gold in 10m air rifle events in Beijing Olympics underway in Communist ruled China.
Why the Orissa Chief Minister should feel nostalgic? This is a very obvious question for many, but the true as that Abhinav is a former student of the famous Doon School, where the bachelor Chief Minister Naveen had spent few of his glorious childhood.
Abhinav studied till his 10th at Doon, Dehradun and then left for St. Stephens School, Chandigarh to pursue shooting. So, as himself Naveen, a man from the top rated School, he should be feel more proud that his other friends in NDA ruled States of the country and announced a slew of measures for the Olympian shooter. Anyway, Abhinav has added another feat for the old-timers of Doon.
Interestingly, Naveen’s announcement came few minutes after his Bihar counterpart Nitish Kumar, Punjab counterpart Prakash Singh Badal, Madhya Pradesh’s Shivraj Singh Chouhan and Chhattisgarh counter part Dr Raman Singh, all NDA ruled States, announced cash prizes for India’s history maker and Chandigarh Lad Abhinav.
Abhinav did a tremendous job and I am proud of him. For his splendid Olympic performance the Orissa Government would give him a cash award of Rs 5 lakh, Chief Minister said. With the announcement of Orissa Chief Minister, reward amount of Bindra, who is also one of the recipients of Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, has reached at Rs 1.71 crores till late night.
According to Media reports, the Chandigarh marksman, who clinched the gold in 10m air rifle events, would be given Rs 1 crore by the Badal Government in his home State of Punjab. Railway Minister Lalu Prasad announced a free lifetime pass for travel by AC first class for the shooter. Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar announced a Rs 11 lakh reward for his feat.
BCCI announced a reward of Rs 25 lakhs for Bindra. The Haryana Government has pitched in with Rs 25 lakh and the Chandigarh Administration has decided to reward him with Rs 5 lakhs. Maharashtra Chief Minister Vilasrao Deshmukh announced a cash prize of Rs 10 lakhs for Bindra and his Madhya Pradesh counterpart Shivraj Singh Chouhan came up with a reward of Rs five lakh. Chattisgarh Chief minister Raman Singh announced Rs 1lakh for Bindra.
Meanwhile, sports lovers distributed sweets and others danced in the streets as Orissa celebrated India’s first individual Olympics gold medal win after 28 years. As news broke that shooter Abhinav Bindra made history by winning the country’s first individual Olympic gold medal in Beijing, people started coming out in the streets at several places and danced to drumbeats and burst fire crackers. Students of Utkal University danced in the campus shouting slogans like ‘Long live India’ and ‘long live Bindra’.