Tribal Affairs Ministry honours Mary Kom with a Rs 10-lakh purse
• Medal winning boxer says she’ll try her best to win gold at 2016 Olympics
New Delhi, August 14: The government must put in place a system that would spot and train sports talents at the grassroots so that India can perform to its potential best at international competitions like the Olympics, hon’ble Union Minister for Tribal Affairs, Shri V Kishore Chandra Deo, said today.
“The Ministry of Tribal Affairs is very much into accomplishing this task. Steps in this direction are already on, and we are determined to chalk out more measures to reap in benefits for the country’s tribal communities and the sports people among them,” he told a function here organised to facilitate boxer Mary Kom on her winning a medal at the just-concluded Olympics. The ministry rewarded the Manipuri tribal sportswoman with Rs 10 lakh, within hours of her touchdown in the national capital from London.
Kom’s latest professional achievement — the 29-year-old won the bronze in the 51-kg flyweight category at the Games 2012 — exemplifies the victory of individual efforts rather than that of an institutional set-up, the minister noted. “We have to alter this equation,” he added.
Of the six medals India won at the London Olympics, it is a tribal who has pocketed one, Deo pointed out. “This can be a matter of major inspiration for our tribal fraternity,” he said. “We have already declared her as the recipient of the Tribal Award for 2012.”
Kom, in her brief speech after receiving the purse from the minister, expressed joy that the whole nation stood behind her as she battled it out at London. “My target was a gold medal; I’ll now try for that that at Rio (de Janeiro that is hosting the 2016 Olympics),” she said, amid cheers from the gathering. “For that, I again look forward to your support.”
Kom later joined a group of a dozen Manipuri tribal artistes who danced towards the culmination of the function.
Hon’ble Minister of State for Tribal Affairs, Shri Mahadeo Singh Khandela, recalled how Kom overcame several hurdles before scripting her achievements. “She has left a wonderful example of how one can excel in one’s chosen field even while not missing out on the personal and family fronts,” he added. Khandela honoured Kom’s coach, Anoop Kumar, with a memento.
Shri Jiji Thomson, Managing Director of TRIFED that functions under the Ministry of Tribal Affairs, said in his introductory remarks that it was noteworthy that women and their achievements scripted many inspiring stories at the London Olympics. Kom herself had to take a two-year sabbatical in the mid-2000s before coming back with vigour and winning a silver medal at the 2008 Asian Women’s Boxing Championship.
“Tomorrow, Christians the world over are celebrating the Assumption of Mother Mary to heaven,” he noted. “It is wonderful to have our very own Mary here amidst us at a time when she has brought glory to the nation.”
Shri A.K. Dubey, Joint Secretary, Union Ministry for Tribal Affairs, delivered the welcome speech. Present on the dais was Smt Vibha Puri Das, Secretary to the Union Ministry of Tribal Affairs.
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