Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

International cyclist Swasti Singh will be honoured with the prestigious 30th Ekalabya Puraskar for the year 2022. 

The Ekalabya Puraskar Committee comprising of jury members drawn from different walks of life unanimously selected Swasti for the prestigious award in a meeting held in Bhubaneswar on Sunday. 

Mercurial cyclist Swasti has bagged two gold and as many sliver medals at the national level. Swasti, who has represented the State in several national events and credited with best individual briliance from April 1, 2020 to March 31, 2022, emerged as the clear winner this year. 

Swasti will get a cash award of Rs.5 lakh along with a citation at the Ekalabya Puraskar function to be held under observation of Covid-19 restrictions. 

Besides Swasti, two other sportspersons will also be felicitated for their remarkable performances in various international and national level tournaments in their respective fields. 

Promising international footballer Pyari Xaxa and budding international hockey player Shilanand Lakra will also be felicitated during the occassion. 

Both will receive cash prize of Rs. 50,000 each along with citations. The date for Ekalabya Puraskar function will be announced later. 

Ekalabya Puraskar, instituted by IMPaCT, the charitable wing of the IMFA, the leading Ferro Alloys producer in the country, in the year 1993, has come a long way to be recognised as the most prestigious sports award of Odisha, drawing parallels with many national awards.

 A mere look at the career graph of many of the past awardees confirms that over the years, it has been a moral booster for the best sporting talents in the State. The award is given every year to young sportspersons of Odisha in recognition of their outstanding performance in the preceeding two years. 

Announcing the names of the award winners, Baijayant Panda, Chairperson of Ekalabya Puraskar Committee and Trustee of IMPaCT said, “IMPaCT has been in continuous pursuit to recognise and foster excellence in sports and literature besides contributing to the general welfare of the society at large. Ekalabya Puraskar is instituted to encourage and inspire young sports persons to perform at national and international arena.”